Fundamentals-1 Vertebral Columb and Spinal Cord

  1. Describe the features of a typical vertebra
    • A typical vertebra has a
    • body- support of body weight
    • spinous process- posterior- for muscle attachment
    • transverse processes- muscle attachment
    • lamina- from together both transverse processes for form the spinous process
    • pedicle- between the tranverse process and the body
    • articular processes- restriction of movement
    • vertebral foramen- area in which the spinal cord runs, forms the vertebral canal
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  3. how many cervical vertebra do we have and what distinguishes the cervical from thoracic and lumbar?
    • 7 Cervical vertebra
    • unique features:
    • Foramen Transversarium- the vertebral artery runs through this foramen. Vertebral artery is one of the 2 mail blood supplies to the brain
  4. What are the first two vertebra named?
    • C1- Atlas
    • C2- Axis
  5. What is the unique factor of the Atlas?
    • No body
    • no spinous process instead it has a posterior tubercle
    • groove for vertebral artery across the posterior arch
    • articular facets for the occipital condyles
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    • 1- transverse process
    • 3- Dens
    • 6- bifid spinous process
  8. Describe the differences between cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and coccygeal vertebra
    • cervical:
    • C1-C7
    • foramen transversarium
    • vertebral artery

    • thoracic:
    • T1-T12
    • Costal factets- 2 on each side of the body, and 1 on each side of the tranverse process
    • articulation with ribs

    • Lumbar
    • L1-L5
    • large body
    • long thin transverse process
    • no transverse foramena
    • no costal facets

    • Scaral:
    • S1-S5
    • fused
    • sacral foramena
    • nerve exits

    • Coccygeal
    • 4 fused bones
    • attached to the sacrum
  9. Describe the composition and placement of intervertebral discs
    • 2 parts to the IV disc:
    • 1. nucleus pulposus- gel like substance
    • 2. anulus fibrosus- fibrous structure

    placement- located between each of the vertebrae bodies making the symphasis joint
  10. what areas of the spine have no IV discs?
    Between the Occipital and C1- the atlanto-occipital joint

    between C1 and C2- the atlanto-axial joint

    between the sacral and the coccyx
  11. Movements of the atlanto-occipital joint vs atlanto-axial joint
    atlanto-occipital joint is the "yes" motion. Flextion and extension

    atlanto-axial joint is the "no" motion. Rotation around the dens
  12. what are the normal curvatures of the spine?
    The primary curvatures of the spine include the Sacral portion and the Thoracic portion. (Kyphosis)

    From birth the spine is curving with a hump toward the posterior part of the body.

    the secondary curvatures develop later in life and give the spine its S-shape so that we are able to control and walk on two legs. These are in the cervical and Lumbar parts of the spine (Lordosis)
  13. What are the 4 main ligaments of the vertebral columb?
    The Anterior longitudinal ligament- this helps in preventing hyperextension

    The posterior longitudinal ligament- runs along the posterior part of the bodies

    The supraspinous ligament- runs along the posterior part of the spinous processes

    The interspinous ligament- ligaments between the spinous processes
  14. What are the 4 major ways blood is drained from the vertebral columb? Located? unique? problem?
    • Anterior external vertebral venous plexus
    • Anterior internal venous plexus
    • Posterior internal venous plexus
    • posterior external vertebral venous plexus

    located around the vertebrae and vertebral columb


    potential pathway for cancer metastasis
  15. Describe the organization and ditribution of the spinal cord and spinal nerves
    The spinal cord has C1-C7 T1-T12 L1-L5 S1-S5

    The spinal nerves exit through the intervertebral foramena

    Cervical spinal nerves are named after the vertebrae beneath its exit

    Thoracic, Lumbar, Saccral spinal nerves are named after the vertebra that is above its exit
  16. If T5 spinal nerve is severed where did the injury occur?

    If C2 spinal nerve is severed?

  17. How does the spinal cord change in length throught our life span
    Around age 4 the spinal cord no longer elongates in the same proportion as the body. This means that the conus medularis of a 4 year old is located at L4-L5, whereas an adult the conus medularis is at L2.
  18. what are the three meningies
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    • Dura mater, Arachnoid mater, Pia mater
  19. what are the real and potentail spaces of the spinal columb?
    Skin-fat-supraspinatus lig-infraspinatus lig-ligament flavum-epidural space-dura mater-arachnoid mater-subarachnoid space-pia mater-spinal cord

    • epidural space-- fat
    • subarachnoid space- CSF

    Administer a local anethetic into the epidural space or collect a sample of CSF to test for meningitis at L3-L4 or L4-L5
  20. Explain a jefferson burst fracture and the complications that can occur
    • A Jefferson fracture occurs because of a compression force-weight or pressure on the skull down onto the C1
    • ex: diving into a shallow pool

    This causes the anterior and posterior archs of the C1 to burst and break. They break in an outward motion which is benificial as the spinal cord is not damaged, but can cause tearing of the vertebral artery.
  21. Descibe some abnormal curvatures of the vertebral columb
    1. Scoliosis- crooked back, a side to side lateral curvature of the spinal columb

    • 2. Excessive Kyphosis- Hunch back, usually seen in post-menepausal women that have osteoperosis
    • Thoracic

    • 3. Excessive Lordosis- sway or hollow back, usually a transient condition to over compensate and redistribute weight. Can occur because of weight gain in the belly. ex: obesity, pregnancy
    • Lumbar
  22. What happens in a whiplash injury?
    Whiplash is a hyperextension of the cervical spine. Usually in a fast hyperextension the anterior longitudinal ligament
  23. If there is a compression of a vertebrae at L1-L2 what spinal nerve is affected?
    L2--compression of the nerve that is transversing to exit next

    C6--compresses the exiting nerve
  24. Herniated disc
    A herniated disc is when the nucleus pulposus pushes through a tear toward posterior and laterally

    Can cause the roots of the nerves to be compressed which causes pain

    Stretches the ligaments which causes pain
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Fundamentals-1 Vertebral Columb and Spinal Cord