Vertebral Body Definition

Vertebral body is the thick oval segment of bone forming the front of the vertebra also called the centrum. The cavity of the vertebral body consists of cancellous bone tissue and is encircled by a protective layer of compact bone. Bony structures called pedicles protrude from each side of the vertebral body and join with the laminae to form the vertebral arch. The upper and lower surfaces of the vertebral body are flat and rough to provide attachment for the vertebral discs that lie between each vertebra. Since they are major load bearing structures, vertebral bodies are also prone to developing compression fractures, particularly in patients with osteoporosis.