Skeletal Trauma > Thoracic Spine > Normal Anatomy

Thoracic Spine Anatomy

The following radiographs show normal thoracic spine anatomy.
AP View Lateral View

  • The routine examination consists of AP and lateral views.
  • The lateral view is obtained during quiet respiration to blur out the overlying pulmonary vessels.
  • In the normal spine, the anterior cortex should have a smooth margin in the lateral view.
  • Also on lateral view, vertebral bodies and disc spaces get larger with caudal progression.
  • On the AP view, a paravertebral soft tissue line can usually be seen. Any displacement of this line can be a sign of swelling helpful for the diagnosis of injury.

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