A morphometric study of human lumbar and selected thoracic vertebrae

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1987 May;12(4):362-7. doi: 10.1097/00007632-198705000-00010.


The results of a morphometric study of selected human vertebrae undertaken to provide data for implant design are presented in this report. Twenty-seven dimensions were measured from thoracic (T2, T7, T12) and lumbar (L1-L5) vertebrae using prepared spinal columns from 30 skeletons belonging to the Hamann-Todd Osteological Collection. Maximum and minimum pedicle dimensions indicated that the pedicles are less symmetric cephalad than they are caudal. Vertebral body height increases caudally except posteriorly where, after an initial increase, it decreases in the lower lumbar region. Major and minor body diameters and the major spinal canal diameter slightly increase caudally, whereas minor spinal canal diameter exhibits little or no change.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / anatomy & histology*
  • Male
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / anatomy & histology*