InSight
T h e v e r te b r a l c o lu m n
Figure 5.1 0
The vertebral column (spine) functions as a strong, flexible rod that can rotate and move
anteriorly (forward), posteriorly (backward), and laterally (sideways). Each type of verte-
bra has a slightly different shape. Intervertebral discs form cartilage cushions between
the vertebrae.
POSTERIOR
-Cervical
vertebrae (7) •
-Thoracic
vertebrae (12) ■
- Lumbar
vertebrae (5) «
Spinous
process
Lamina
Vertebral
foramen
Transverse
process
ANTERIOR
— Vertebral
arch
Superior
articular
process
Pedicle
Body
b. Superior view of cervical vertebra
POSTERIOR
Spinous process
Lamina
Transverse
process
Vertebral
foramen
ANTERIOR
— Vertebral
arch
Superior
articular
process
Pedicle
Body
c.
Superior view of thoracic vertebra
-Sacrum (1)
(5 fused sacral
vertebrae)
-Coccyx (1)
POSTERIOR
a.
Vertebral column (lateral view)
Functions of the Vertebral Column
1.
Permits movement.
2.
Encloses and protects the
spinal cord.
3. Serves as a point of attachment
for the ribs and muscles of the
back.
Spinous process
Transverse
process
Lamina
Vertebral
foramen
ANTERIOR
— Vertebral
arch
Superior
articular
process
Pedicle
Body
d. Superior view of lumbar vertebra
128
CHAPTER 5
The Skeletal System
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