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Lecture

Vertebral Column and Back

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Department
Biology
Course
BIOL 2005
Professor
Elizabeth Nisbet
Semester
Fall

Description
Vertebral Column and Back I. Overview a. Function: maintain posture, support body weight; pivot for head; protect spinal cord; trunk movement b. Movements: Greater A-P & M-L flexion/extension in cervical & lumbar regions b/c no ribs; greater rotation in thoracic region b/c of shape c. Curvature i. Primary: thoracic and sacral (present even in fetus) ii. Secondary: cervical and lumbar (only present after birth) iii. Scoliosis: lateral curvature of the spine (us. Idiopathic) iv. Kyphosis: (hunchback) convex posteriorly, us. in thoracic region v. Lordosis: (swayback) convex anteriorly; us. in lumbar region II. Structure a. Vertebrae i. 7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, sacrum (5 fused), coccyx (3-5 fused) ii. #cervical vertebra constant between species, but # thoracic/lumbar is var. b. Components of Vertebrae i. Body: weight bearing component of vertebrae ii. Vertebral arch: formed by pedicles (closest to body) and lamina (form closed ring) 1. 7 processes each: 4 articular, 2 transverse, 1 spinous iii. intervertebral foramina 1. formed between vertebrae, 2. site of exit for spinal nerves (8 cervical, all exit above their vertebrae, but last vert. has 2 spinal nerves; thor/lum have spinal nerve exit below vert. body c. Spinal Cord i. Cauda Equina = “horses’ tail”: where spinal cord ends and splits into many nerves; ~ L1-L2 ii. Filum terminale: central anchoring structure holding cauda equina down d. Development i. Week 4: mesenchyme condensations around notochord ii. Week 6: cartilage appears iii. Week 8: primary ossification centers form (in body and arch) iv. Birth: centrum (body) and ½ each arch is ossified
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