Like this study set? Create a free account to save it.

Sign up for an account

Already have a Quizlet account? .

Create an account

Vertebral column AKA

spinal column, back bone, spine

what is the main part of the axial skeleton


what componets make up the axial skeleton?

spine, skull, ribs, sternum, and hyoid bone

what is formed of alternating bony vertebrae and fibrocartilagenous intervertebral discs (IVD's)

vertebral column

what connects the vertebrae

strong ligaments, supported and moved by powerful musculotendinous masses

how many vertebrae in a newborn?

33 (7C 12T 5L 5S 4C)

how many true movable vertebrae in an adult?

24 (7C 12T 5L) also 2 falso vertebrae ( 1S and 1 C) 26 total

how long is the vertebral column in males?

71 CM 28 IN
C = 12.5 cm
T = 28 cm
L = 18cm
S and C = 12.5 cm

how long is the spine in females?

61 cm (25 in)

how much longer is the spine in the morning compared to in the evening? why is this?

2 inches due to the imbibition of water by IVD's

how many IVD's are there in the spine and what percent of the total lengh are they?


where is the first IVD located?

between c2-c3

there are no IVD's located where?


where are the IVD's thickest? where are they smallest?

thickest - lumbar
smallest - cervical

what are the 2 major pyramids that are observed when the spine is viewed from the front

long upright pyramid ( c2 to L5)
short inverted pyramid (sacrum to tip of coccyx)

what the smaller pyramids is the long upright pyramid divided into?

an upright pyramid ( c2 - t1)
and inverted pyramid ( t1-t5)
an upright pyramid ( t5-l5)

how many surves if the spine can be viewed in the lateral view

4 curves 2 types
cervical - secondary curve/ lordotic curve
thoracic - primary curve / kyphotic curve
lumbar - secondary/ lordotic
sacral - primary/ kyphotic

at what age do each of these 4 curves form and what is their purpose?

cervical - 3-4 months (baby holds head erect)
thoracic - during fetal life
lumbar - 12-18 months ( walking)
sacral - during fetal life

how can you describe primary / kyphotic curves?

concave anteriorly
due to difference in height between anterior and posterior parts of vertebral bodies
accommodation curves, accommodate for thoracic, abdominal and pelvic viscera

how can you describe secondary/ lordotic curves?

convex anteriorly
due to difference in thickness between anterior and posterior parts of IVD's
compensation curves, compensate for a change in posture (holding head and walking)

how much axial pressure can the spine withstand?

700 lbs


(humpback) abnormal increase of the curve in the thoracic. could be due to osteoporosis


(sway back) increase in the lumbar curvature
seen in pregnate women to compensate for their line of gravity
obesity is a cause of lordosis


(croaked) abnormal lateral curve to the left or right
spinous processes point toward concavity
it may be structural (developmental) or functional ( mechanical or neurological)

what are the 5 functions of the vertebral column

protects the spinal cord
supports the weight of the body
flexible axis for the body and pivot for the head
posture and locomotion
resiliency : ability to absorb shock

what are the parts of a typical vertebrae

vertebral body and vertebral arch

what is the vertebral arch formed of?

2 pedicles
2 laminae
one spinous process
2 transverse process
4 articular process (2 superior and 2 inferior)

what type of bone forms the vertebrae

outer layer is compact bone, core is trabecular (spongy) bone that contains red bone marrow

what is the pattern of trabeculation

it varies as it develops along the lines of greatest stress

irregular bone covered by periosteum that is innervated by nerve fibers that transmit pain and proprioception


what happens to the density of bone with age?

increases during puberty, reaches a peak during midtwenties, decreases gradually at menopause

decrease in bone density


osteoporosis may lead to what?

vertebral fractures because of the weight-bearing function of the spine

what is the largest part of the vertebrae?

vertebral body AKA centrum

what allows for the spine to bear the weight of the body?

its increase in size from above downward

what connects the bodies of successive vertebrae?


what structures concave posterioly and form the anterior part of vertebral foramina?

the bodies of the vertebrae

what is the upper and lower surfaces of the body covered by?

hyaline cartilage: cartilaginous end plate (CEP) / vertebral end plate

the anterior surface of the body shows foramina for what?

nutrient arteries

the posterior surface of the centrum has one or two foramina for what?

the exit of basivertebral veins

what are the signs of scoliosis?

uneven sholders
curve in spine
uneven hips

___is posterior to the vertebral body and is formed of 2 pedicles and 2 laminae

vertebral arch AKA neural arch

the vertebral arch and the posterior surface of the vertebral body form what?

vertebral foramen

the succession of vertebral foramina in the articulated column forms the what?

vertebral canal AKA spinal canal

what does the spinal canal contain?

spinal cord, meninges, fat, nerve roots of spinal nerves, and blood vessels

what protects the spinal cord and associated structures?

vertebral arch

what is trefoil in shape in cervical, lumbar, and sacral regions of spinal column and circular and smallest in thoracic region?

vertebral foramina

spinal stenosis

less than 15mm in diameter in lumbar region

what is the antero-posterior diameter of the vertebral canal in the lumbar region

15 mm

short strong processes that project backwards from the upper portion of vertebral body

pedicles AKA roots

what forms the anterior part of the vertebral arch?


each pedicle possesses what?

a shallow superior and a deep inferior vertebral notch

the superior and inferior vertebral notches of adjacent vertebrae contribute to the formation of what?


what does the IVF contain?

spinal nerve roots, vessels, and dorsal root ganglia

what happens to the IVFs with age

their size decreases causes chronic neck pain

what is continuous with the pedicles?


what are flat, broad plates of bone that form the posterior part of the vertebral arch


what curves posteromedially to meet in the middle line at the spinous process?


how many processes arise from the vertebral arch of a typical vertebra?

a spinous process
2 transverse processes
4 articular processes ( 2 superior, 2 inferior)

what projects posteriorly from the vertebral arch at the junction of the laminae

spinous process

what serves as levers for muscle attatchments

spinous process

what projects laterally from the junction of the pedicles and laminae

transverse process

what serves as muscle attatchment sites where rotation and lateral flexion of the spine can occur?

transverse processes

what are the two parts that make a transverse process?

true TP (posteriorly) and a costal element (anteriorly)

what are the cervical costal elements?

anterior tubercles

what do the thoracic costal elements develop into?


what are the lumbar costal elements

anterior aspects of TPs

what are the costal elements of the sacral

alae of sacrum (right and left)

what is the greek term for the articular processes


what structure arrises from the junctions of the pedicles and laminae? AKA pediculolaminar junction

articular processes

the joint between inferior articular process of one vertebrae and the superior articular process of the vertebra below forms what?

zygaphophyseal (Z or facet joint)

the articular processes are oriented in different planes in different regions of the vertebral column and this affects what?

the type and range of motion in each region

what is the function of the articular processes

restrict movements in certain directions and prevent vertebrae from slipping anteriorly

what is each motion segment (functional spinal unit) of the vertebral column formed by?

2 vertebrae and 3 joints: IVD (anteriorly) and 2 facet joints (posteriorly)

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

Voice Recording