© 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Background: As important as the vertebral ligaments are in maintaining the integrity of the spinal column and protecting the contents of the spinal canal, a single detailed review of their histology and embryology is missing in the literature. Methods: A literature search using online search engines was conducted. Results: Single comprehensive reviews of the histology and embryology of the spinal ligaments are not found in the extant medical literature. Conclusions: This review will be useful to those who study or treat patients with pathology of the spine.