Chapter II - Vertebral Column

Structure of Bone and Vertebral Column
The center of the bone is called medullary cavity, which contains the bone marrow. This bone marrow looks like
blood with gritty and fatty particles and is responsible for the hematopoiesis (the process of formation and
development of the various types of blood cells.) Bones of the extremities are the examples of long bones. Only the
long bones are responsible for the production of blood.

The axial and appendicular portions of the skeleton, put together, have 206 bones. The axial section includes the
bones of the skull, thorax, and vertebrae. The appendicular section comprises the bones of the shoulder, upper
extremities, hips, and lower extremities. While the axial section forms the body cavities and provides protection for
the internal organs, the appendicular section attaches to the axial section as appendages. The vertebral column of
adult human being consists of 26 bones and supports the entire body. It also houses the spinal cord.

Detailed know how of the vertebral column is a must to understand the pathology associated with.
Vertebral Column
The adult vertebral (spinal) column consists of 26 bones that are grouped as follows:


7 cervical vertebrae in the neck

5 lumbar vertebrae of the lower back

1 sacrum which is actually a fusion of 5 sacral vertebrae

1 coccyx or "tailbone" which is a fusion of 4 coccygeal vertebrae

12 thoracic vertebrae that articulate with the 12 pairs of ribs

Intervertebral discs are located between adjacent vertebrae. These fibrocartilage discs form strong joints and
absorb spinal compression shock.
Various spinal disorders include:


Herniated (slipped) disc - protrusion or rupture of an intervertebral disc

Kyphosis - "hunchback" exaggerated thoracic curvature

Lordosis - "swayback" exaggerated lumbar curvature

Spina bifida - congenital defect with incomplete closure of the vertebral column

Scoliosis - exaggerated lateral bending of spinal column

The first seven vertebrae referred to as the cervical vertebrae make the support framework for the neck. The first
cervical vertebra, called atlas, supports the skull, and the second cervical vertebra, called axis, makes the rotation
of the skull possible.

Two adjacent vertebrae are separated by a disk interposed between them known as the intervertebral disk. It is composed of an outer fibrous part that surrounds a central gelatinous material known as the nucleus pulposus. often used in obstetrics. spinal fluid is removed using a long needle inserted between L3-L4 or L4-L5. 12 in toto. known as coccyx. The five lumbar vertebrae support most of the weight of the torso. The 5 sacral vertebrae fused in to a single bone are situated below that and are together referred to as the sacrum. The Last 4 or 5 fragments are fused together to form the tail of the spinal column. . Epidural anesthesia. are located below the cervical vertebrae and support the chest while also working as the articulation points for the ribs. In a lumbar puncture or spinal tap.Thoracic vertebrae. is injected into the sacrum at the sacral hiatus.