Summary: The body of the vertebra can be affected in the majority of the conditions involving the lumbar spine. Multiple references, both books and periodicals, have been reviewed, and the anatomical factors responsible for the vertebral body integrity in the lumbar spine have been included under the following important areas, namely, morphology, development, genetics, microscopic examination using histology, structural architecture, blood supply, neuromuscular control, and biomechanics. Introduction: The anatomy provides a three-dimensional frame work to support the interaction between the physiological and pathological alterations. The body of the vertebra can be affected in a majority of acute or chronic conditions involving the lumbar spine. The etiology of these conditions is multifactorial, which has been dealt with in previous studies sporadically. This study aims to review and incorporate the important anatomical factors which can influence the integrity of vertebral bodies in the lumbar region and manifest as low back pain. Methods: Multiple references, both books and periodicals, have been reviewed for the literature. Electronic databases, including Medline and PubMed, were used to collect the latest information. They were finally arranged in an anatomical framework for the article. An attempt has been made to cover these relevant issues in an integrated way in the article and have been structured into introduction, morphology, development, genetics, microscopic examination using histology, structural architecture, blood supply, neuromuscular control, biomechanics, and conclusion. The aforementioned anatomical aspects, some of which have received less attention in the literature, may be helpful to clinicians for restoring the mobility, stability, and load bearing capacity of the lumbar spine as well as planning better management strategies, especially for the chronic low back pain. Results: In our article all the anatomical factors affecting the integrity of vertebral body, including the morphology, development, genetics, growth and ossification, blood supply, specifically in the lumbar region, have been described, which were not covered earlier. The limitations of this review is its wide dimensions; hence, there are fair scopes of missing many relevant facts, as all of them cannot be compiled in a single article. We have attempted to confine our views to different anatomical domains only, this is our second limitation. Additional studies are required to incorporate and discuss the uncovered relevant scientific details. Conclusions: The integrity of the body of the lumbar vertebra is multifactorial (Fig. 8). The vast spectrum of the anatomical domain influencing it has been summarized. The evolution of erect posture is a landmark in the morphology of human beings and the lumbar lordosis, which has also contributed to the gross design of the vertebral body, is one of the most important adaptations for axial loading and bipedal movements. The role of metamerism in the evolution of vertebrate morphology is repeated in the development of spine. The body of the vertebra is intersegmental in origin, which results in dual vascular and nerve supply, both from superior and inferior aspects of the body of the lumbar vertebrae. The vertebral body ossifies from three primary centers, one for centrum, which will form the major portion of body, and the other two for neural arches. The cartilaginous growth plate is mainly responsible for the longitudinal vertebral growth. Regional differentiation of the vertebral column, and the definite pattern of the structure of the different vertebra, is regulated by a large number of genetic factors, including the Hox genes. The vertebral body design therefore provides the requirements for optimal load transfer by maximal strength with minimal weight. Bone mineral density (BMD), bone quality, microarchitecture, and material properties are the important factors that contribute to bone strength. BMD is highly heritable; bone mineral distribution and architecture are also shown to be under strong genetic influence. All the aforementioned factors finally integrate to ensure mainly the mobility, stability, and load bearing capacity of the lumbar spine.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism