BIOL 2005 Lecture Notes - Articular Processes, Anatomical Terms Of Motion, Vertebral Artery

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Published on 30 Jan 2013
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
v. 8 th
year : complete fusion between arch and body
vi. 24 th
year : final fusion occurs by this point
Spina Bifida: occurs when arches fail to close properly; normally nonpatholog.
e. Special characteristics
i. Cervical Vertebrae
1. General
a. Bifed spinous process
b. Large, triangular vertebral foramen
c. Transverse foramen (houses/protects vertebral arteries)
2. Atlas (C1)
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