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Anatomy and Cell Biology
ANAT 215
Leslie W Mac Kenzie

ANATOMY 215 CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM: SPINAL CORD (Reading material; Chapter 14: pages 368-374) extends from foramen magnum (continued as spinal cord from the brain stem) to between the last lumbar verterbrae and first cervical • External Topography: - conical in shape - the conal end is called the conus medullaris • beginning: • lies in the vertebral canal • foramen magnum • length and diameter • ending: • level of second lumbar vertebrae • conus medullaris – terminal end , conical end in shape - tip goes to bones of coccyx and ends at filumterminale - filumterminale anchors spinal cord at this level (at the bones of the coccyx) - spinal cord is anchored at the top in the bony structures of the skull - this anchoring minimizes up and down movements - but there is side to side movement – limited by the denticulate ligaments • enlargements: important because sources of nerves that supply the upper/lower limbs respectively • cervical – source of nerves that supply upper limbs • lumbar – source of nerves that supplythe lower limbs • cauda equine – means horses tail , looks like horses tail • meninges: (protective function) • pia mater (closest to cord) = stuck tightly to outside surface of spinal cord, means gentle mother , denticulate and filumterminale are extensions of the pia mater , if try to remove = damage to spinal cord - arachnoid mater= middle layer attached to dura - dura mater=thickest, toughest (from inside to out) • sub arachnoid space – between pia and arachnoid, this is where the denticulate ligaments are , and filled with CSF • epidural space – between dura and vertebrae - made of fat (extra protection) • support: • filumterminale – anchor spinal cord at the coccyx bones, this anchoring plus the anchoring at the top in the skull prevent up and down movement of the spinal cord • denticulate ligaments – prevent side to side movement - limiting the movement of the spinal cord prevents trauma on daily basis • front and back longitudinal grooves: (posterior/anterior surfaces are somewhat flat and have grooves which divide spinal cord into right and left sides) • anterior median fissure • posterior median sulcus • development – at first the spinal cord develops at the same rate as the vertebral column, but then it doesn’t stretch all the way down, it doesn’t stretch all the way to the coccyx because the ligament that anchors at the coccyx develops after the spinal cord has finished growing
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