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Identifying characteristics of vertebrae in the vertebral column

cervical vertebra - typical

vertebral type with a forked spinous process


pivots on C2; lacks a body

thoracic vertebra

bears facets for articulation with ribs; form part of bony thoracic cage


forms a joint with the hip bone

lumbar vertebra

vertebra with blocklike body and short stout spinous process


"tail bone"


articulates with the occipital condyles

lumbar curvature

five components; unfused

thoracic vertebra

twelve components; unfused


five components; fused


tissue that makes up the intervertebral discs

herniated disc

ruptured disc where part of the disc distends and bulges out

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