Spinal anatomy

Dr Craig Hacking and Dr Tim Luijkx et al.

Spinal anatomy encompasses the anatomy of all osseous and soft tissue structures of the spine, the spinal cord and its supporting structures.

This anatomy section promotes the use of the Terminologia Anatomica, the global standard for correct gross anatomical nomenclature. 

Overview

The spine is located in the midline posteriorly, extending from the base of the skull to natal cleft, supporting the head, shoulder girdle, rib cage, and attaching to the pelvis. 

It is composed of 24 vertebrae separated by intervertebral discs, with additional sacral and coccygeal segments which are usually but, variably, fused. The vertebrae are grouped together into groups based on similar osteology and regional relations; cervical spine (7 vertebrae), thoracic spine (12 vertebrae), and lumbar spine (5 vertebrae). The sacrum has five fused vertebral segments and the coccyx has a further 3 to 5 vertebral segments. 

Anatomy: Spine
Anatomy: Radiological

The anatomy section is organised into seven expandable chapters based on regional body systems:

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Article information

rID: 33451
System: Spine
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Spine anatomy
  • Anatomy of the spine
  • Vertebral column anatomy
  • Anatomy of the vertebral column

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1: normal MRI
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