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FM2102

The Vertebral Column


Dr Kathy Quane
Department of Anatomy UCC

The Vertebral Column
Grouped into 5 regions:

Typical vertebra
Weight bearing
Protection
Attachment

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33 -34 vertebrae

Vertebral
canal
Pedicle
(Spinal nerves emerge)

Atlas C1
Cervical Vertebrae

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No vertebral body
There is a vertebral foremen to
contain the spinal cord
Transverse processes have a
foremen each for the vertebral
arteries to pass up to the brain
Odontoid
process
Axis C2

Right
Lateral
View

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Odontoid peg forms part of a pivot joint
T6 Superior View
(triangular)
Thoracic Vertebrae

T6 Lateral View
(faces backwards)
(faces forwards)
(rib 6)
(rib 7)
(rib 6)

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L2 Superior View L3-4 Posterior View
(faces medially)
Inferior articular process
(faces laterally)
Lumbar Vertebrae

Sacrum: Pelvic surface Sacrum: Dorsal surface
ventral
sacral
foramina:
Ventral spinal
nerve rami
emerge
Dorsal
sacral
foramina:
Dorsal spinal
nerve rami
emerge
Sacrum
for sacro-
iliac joint

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Rotation is limited because of medial / lateral
attachments
Discs have been ossified

Sacrum: Median sagittal section

4 physiologic curves:

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Abnormal curvatures:
Kyphosis:

Abnormal curvatures:
Lordosis:


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Exaggerated forward concavity
Happens with TB (not common) and mostly with osteoporosis (in post
menopausal women)
Vertebral body collapses on itself
Tends to run in families
Most commonly seen during pregnancy.. After the spine returns to its normal
curve
Abnormal curvatures:
Scoliosis:

Joints between vertebrae
1. Intervertebral disc
2. Synovial joints between vertebral arches
Grays Fig 2.31A

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S shaped lateral curvature
Compensation for shortening of Lower limb
Twist vert column to make both feet flat on the floor
Between vert bodies
Between articular processes
Grays Fig 2.3
Amount of movement possible
Intervertebral discs
Nucleus pulposus
Grays Fig 2.31B


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Between any two vertebrae is small
Total movement is more
Mushy consistency
Shock absorption
No disc between atlas and axis
Is gradually replaced with fibrocartilage as one grows older
Secondary cartilagenous joint
Joints between vertebral arches
L3-4 Posterior View
Inferior articular processes
Superior articular processes
Joints between vertebral arches
All movements
All movement
Rotation
Flexion/extension
Lateral flexion
Rotation
Grays Fig 2.32
Orientation of articular
processes


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Synovial joints
Four joints per vertebra
Limits the possible movement in each region
Are allowed to be free
Limited
Is possible because
of their position
Free
Free
Limited
Series of ligaments run longitudinally
3 short ligaments
3 long ligaments
Vertebral ligaments

Short ligaments:
Interspinous Ligaments
Intertransverse ligaments-
Ligamenta flava-
Grays Fig 2.37, 2.35A

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Between Adjacent vertebrae along the whole length of
the vertebral column
Between the lamina
Between spinous processes
Between transverse processes
Long ligaments:
Anterior longitudinal ligament-
Posterior longitudinal ligament-
Supraspinous ligament-
Grays Fig 2.37B, 2.34

Herniation / Prolapse of intervertebral disc
Degenerates with age
Nerve compression


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Over th tips of the spinous processes
Defect line in annulus fibrosis
The disc
& can be damaged if there is sudden shock to the vert column
Common between L3/4 or L5/S1 and C7/T1
Where a mobile part of the vert column meets a less mobile part
Symptoms
Sciatica
Atlanto-axial Joints
Odontoid
Process
or Dens Transverse
ligament of atlas
(divides space)
Synovial pivot joint
Cx vertebra: posterosuperior view
Synovial joint
lateral mass of atlas
articular pillar of axis
Rotation
No joint
Spinal cord
Atlanto-axial dislocation
risk in rheumatoid arthritis
Atlanto-occipital Joints
Odontoid
process
Posterior view: posterior part of bones removed Superior view
Occipital condyle
C1 lateral mass
Synovial joint
Skull rotates on atlas

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If this is the case you must be very careful
when intubating for surgery
Intrinsic Muscles of
the Back
Erector spinae
Rotatores
Transversospinales

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Extensions and rotators of the head and neck area
Extend and rotate the vertebral column
Short segmental
muscles


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Postural muscles that stabilize the vertebrae