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Flashcards in Back Deck (35)
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The back consists of
Superficial to deep

Subcutaneous tissue
Deep fascia
Vertebral column
Spinal cord and meninges
Various segmental nerves and vessels


How many vertebrae in an adult
What are the 5 regions

Cervical 7
Thoracic 12
Lumbar 5
Sacral 5
Coccygeal 4


Zygapophysial joint

The 25 cervical thoracic and lumbar and first sacral vertebrae articulate at this synovial joint


What are the four curvatures of the vertebral column

Cervical lordosis
Lumbar lordosis
- both indent in
-secondary curvatures

Thoracic kyphosis
sacral kyphosis
-Both rounded
-primary curvatures


What is a typical vertebra consist of

A vertebral body
Vertebral arch
Seven processes


What does the vertebral body do

Gives strength to the vertebral column and supports body weight
Covered with hyaline cartilage


What are the seven process that arise from a typical vertebra

Spinous process
Two transverse processes
Four articular processes


Cervical vertebrae characteristics

Small wider body
Large and triangular vertebral foramen
Transverse process small
Spinous process are shorter


Atlas characteristics

Ring like
No spinous process or body
Concave superior articular facets for the head


Axis characteristics

Strongest cervical vertebrae
Has a dens


Thoracic vertebrae characteristics

Body is heart shaped
Vertebral foramen is circular and smaller
Transverse process long and strong
Spinous process is long and slopes


Lumbar vertebrae characteristics

Body is massive
Vertebral foramen triangular and large
Spinous process short and sturdy (hatchet shaped)


Joints of the vertebral column include

The joints of the vertebral bodies joints of the vertebral arches
Craniovertebral joints
Costovertebral joints
Sacro-iliac joints


Joints of vertebral bodies

Symphyses (secondary cartilaginous)
Designed for weight bearing and strength
The articulating surfaces of adjacent vertebrae are connected by IV discs and ligaments


What is the anulus fibrosus
What is the nucleus pulposus

A ring consisting of concentric lamellae
The lamellae of the anulus thicken with age and often develop fissures and cavities

The central core of the IV disc
Thinner when tensed or stretched
The IV discs lose their turgor becoming thinner stiffer and more resistant to deformation


Anterior longitudinal ligament of the back

A strong broad fibrous band that covers and connects the anterolateral aspects of the vertebral bodies and IV discs


Posterior longitudinal ligament of the back

A much narrower somewhat weaker band
The ligament runs within the vertebral canal along the posterior aspect of the vertebral bodies


What are the joints of the vertebral arches

Zygapophysial (facet joints)

Synovial plane joints

Surrounded by a thin loose joint (articular capsule)


Accessory ligaments of intervertebral joints

Ligamenta flava

Interspinous ligaments

Supraspinous ligaments

Nuchal ligament


Ligamenta flava

- extend almost vertically from the lamina above to the lamina below
-resist separation of the vertebral laminae by arresting abrupt flexion of the vertebral column and thereby preventing injury to the IV discs


Interspinous ligament and supraspinous ligaments

Adjacent spinous processes are united by weak almost membranous interspinous ligaments and strong supraspinous
The supraspinous ligaments merges superiorly with the nuchal ligament


Nuchal ligament

Is composed of thickened fibroelastic tissue extending from the external occipital protuberance


Atlanto-occipital joints

Between the lateral masses of C1 and the occipital condyles
Permit nodding of the head such as the neck flexion and extension

Main movement is flexion

Synovial joints that are condyloid type


Atlanto-axial joints

Movement permits the head to be turned from side to side as occurs when rotating the head as no


What are the two atlanto-axial joints

Lateral atlanto-axial joints
-between the lateral masses of C1 and the superior facets of C2

Median atlanto-axial joints
-between the dens of C2


The range of movement of the vertebral column is limited by

Thickness elasticity and compressibility of the IV discs
Shape and orientation of the articular facets
Tension of the joint capsules of the above joints
Resistance of the back muscles and ligaments
Attachment to the thoracic cage
Bulk of the surrounding tissues


Free movement of the vertebral column happens because

IV discs although thin relative to most other discs are thick relative to the small size of the vertebral bodies
Articular surfaces of the zygapophysial joints are relatively large and the joint planes are almost horizontal
Joint capsules of the zygapophysial joints are loose
Neck is relatively slender


Movements of the vertebral column are freeer where and what movements can happen freely

Cervical and lumbar regions

Flexion extension lateral flexion and rotation of the neck


Spinal cord beginning and ending

Medulla oblongata

The conus medullaris (either T12 and or as low as L3)


What are the two enlarged regions of the spine for innervation

The cervical enlargement

Lumbosacral enlargement