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ap vertebral column


first cervical vertebra

carries the skull on its articular facets


second cervical vertebra

it has a process that extends superiorly from the vertebral body

body of the vertebrae

cervical 7, thoracic 12, lumbar 5, 5 fused to sacrum & 4 fused to coccyx=total of 33

intervertebral disk

between each body in the vertebrae is a disk of cartilage

intervertebral foremina

an opeing btw the pedicles of adjacent vertebrae

transverse process

a lateral process that extends from the junction of the pedicle & lamina of the vertebrae

site for muscle attachment

on the thoracic vertebrae there is an articular surface for ribs


is a plate of bone that is an extension of the pedicle. located btw the transverse process & the spinous process of the vertebrae


a bony projection that extends posteriorly from each side of the vertebral body. connects the body w/the transverse process


most inferior portion of the vertebral column. formed by fusion of 4 coccygeal vertebrae. articulates superiorly w/sacrum


a triangular bone that is formed by 5 fused vertebrae.sacrum & 2 oscoxae form pelvis. articulates with these bones at the sacroiliac joint. forms the posterior part of the pelvis

transverse foramina/foramen

cervical vertebrae have these. these are openings in each transverse process. allow for passage of the vertebral arteries

spinous process of vertebrae

a posterior process of the vertebrae that protrudes midline and projects inferiorly. important site of muscle attachment.

spinal (vertebral) foramen

is the opening formed by the body & the vertebral arch of the cervical, thoracic & lumbar vertebrae. contains spinal cord, meninges, epidural fat & blood vessels

big opening

neural arch

the curve of bone formed by the pedicle and lamina of the vertebrae

odontoid process/dens

a process that extends superiorly from the vertebral body of the axis (2nd cervical vertebrae)

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