|A thoracic vertebra. (Superior labeled at top; inferior labeled at bottom.)|
|Median sagittal section of two lumbar vertebræ and their ligaments.|
A zygapophysial joint (zygapophyseal, or facet joint) is a synovial joint between the superior articular process of one (lower) vertebra and the inferior articular process of the adjacent (higher) vertebra. There are two facet joints in each vertebral motion segment.
The biomechanical function of each pair of facet joints is to prevent excessive torsion (twisting) of the spine, while allowing a small amount of lateral bending and flexion and extension. These functions can be disrupted by degeneration, dislocation, fracture, and/or instability of the facet joints from trauma, osteoarthritis, and/or surgery.
- Atlas of anatomy at UMich back_bone28 - "Lumbar Vertebral Column, Posterolateral View"
- Diagram at spineuniverse.com
- Diagram at necksurgery.com
Joints and ligaments of torso
|Vertebral column||articulations of vertebral bodies: anterior longitudinal ligament - posterior longitudinal ligament - intervertebral disc (annulus fibrosus, nucleus pulposus)|
|Costovertebral||articulation of head of rib: radiate ligament - interarticular ligament|
|Sternocostal||interarticular sternocostal ligament - radiate sternocostal ligaments - costoxiphoid ligaments|
|Pelvis||articulation of the vertebral column with the pelvis: iliolumbar ligament pubic symphysis: superior pubic ligament - inferior pubic ligament|
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