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Intervertebral Foramen Definition

Nerve Roots and Bony Vertebral Ring

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Updated June 23, 2014

Spinal nerves exit out the intervertebral foramen, which are spaces formed by adjacent vertebrae.

Spinal nerves exit out the intervertebral foramen, which are spaces formed by adjacent vertebrae.

(c) Anne Asher 2010 Licensed to About.com

Definition:

Here's a definition of the spinal term "intervertebral foramen."  The intervertebral foramen is a key location, as it gives passage to nerves that exit the spine.

The intervertebral foramen is an opening made by two adjacent, stacked vertebrae. In the spinal column, stacking occurs down the front part of the bones (called the bodies).

Behind the body of a vertebra is a ring of bone. Looking at a vertebra from either side, the body and ring combination make an arch-like shape. A hole is created by the meeting of the "pillars" of the arch with the bone below. This hole is called the intervertebral foramen.

The nerve root exits out the intervertebral foramen after branching off the spinal cord.

 

Also Known As: transverse foramen

Common Misspellings: foramin

Examples: Foramen means "opening". Intervertebral refers to an area between spinal bones, or vertebra.

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