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Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 1999 Apr;15(1):13-26, v.

Anatomy of the thoracolumbar vertebral region.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Sciences, New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA.


A thorough understanding of the structure and function of the equine vertebral column can provide a clearer understanding of thoracolumbar spinal disorders. Three primary functions of the vertebral column include protection of the spinal cord, support for weight bearing, and flexibility for locomotion. Osseous structures provide structural support and vary from one vertebral region to another as functional requirements change. The spinal musculature produces complex vertebral movements while the spinal ligaments provide stability to the vertebral column. Proprioception and nociception are two important neurologic functions of the vertebral articulations.

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