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Flashcards in Vertebral column Deck (46):
1

What's within the vertebral column cavity

Spinal cord
Roots of spinal nerves
Meninges

2

How many vertebrae are there and what are they classified into

33 vertebrae:
7 cervical
12 thoracic
5 lumbar
5 sacral
4 coccygeal

3

How many vertebrae are discrete and how many are fused
What structures do the fused vertebra form

24 discrete
9 fused - forms sacrum and coccyx

4

Gross functions of vertical column

Project body weight to pelvis and lower limbs
Attachment for bones and muscles
Protection and passage of spinal cord
Segmental Innervation of spinal cord (spinal nerves leave/join at specific points)
Shock absorption

5

How does the vertebral column project body weight to pelvis and lower limbs
What is the direction of transmission

Vertebral bodies increase in size inferiorly
Sacral vertebrae are fused, widened and concave anteriorly (transmits weight through pelvis)

Through line that passes centrally through curvatures of VC (centre of gravity)

6

What bones attach to the VC

Skull
Ribs
Iliac

7

What muscles attach to the VC

Muscles of trunk (maintain erect posture and move VC)
Muscles of pelvic and pectoral girdles

8

Typical structure of vertebrae

Anteriorly - rounded body
Posteriorly - vertebral arch
Vertebral foramen

9

Features of body of vertebrae

Usually largest part
Main weight bearing part
Major site of contact between adjacent vertebrae
Articular surface is covered with hyaline

10

Features of vertebral arch of vertebrae

1 spinous process
2 transverse processes
2 superior articular processes/facets
2 inferior articular processes/facets
Formed by lamina and pedicle

11

What does the lamina connect

Transverse process to spinous process

12

What does the pedicle connect

Transverse process to vertebral body

13

What's formed between articular processes of adjacent vertebrae

Synovial joints

14

What strengthens synovial joints between adjacent vertebrae

Ligamentum flavum

15

Where do spinal nerves emerge

Intervertebral foramina

16

What type of joint does the articulation of superior and inferior articular processes form

Facet joint (synovial)

17

How is anterior displacement of vertebrae prevented

Superior and inferior articular processes interlock

18

What type of joints are intervertebral discs

Cartilaginous symphysis joints

19

What percentage of VC length is intervertebral discs

25%

20

How are intervertebral discs kept turgid

High water content

21

What happens to intervertebral discs with age

Dehydrate and get smaller

22

What feature of intervertebral discs allows for secondary curvature of spine

Wedge shaped

23

2 regions of intervertebral discs

Central - nucleus pulposus
Peripheral - annulus fibrosus

24

What structures does the vertebral column support

Skull
Pectoral girdle
Upper limbs
Thoracic cage

25

How does the position and size of the nucleus pulposus change with age

Central in infants but more posterior in adults
Shrinks with age (and over day due to compression by gravity)

26

What's the nucleus pulposus a remnant of

Notochord

27

Features of nucleus pulposus

Gelatinous
High osmotic pressure

28

Blood and neural supply of annulus fibrosus

None

29

Structure of annulus fibrosus

Lamellae of annular bands in varying orientations that entirely surround the nucleus pulposus

30

Difference between outer and inner lamellae in annulus fibrosus

Outer - collagenous
Inner - fibrocartilaginous

31

Function of annulus fibrosus

Major shock absorber
Resists compression (stronger than vertebral bodies)

32

Stages of disc herniation

Disc degeneration
Prolapse
Extrusion
Sequestration

33

Where does disc herniation most commonly occur

L4/L5
L5/S1

34

Describe disc degeneration

Chemical changes associated with aging causes disc to weaken

35

Describe prolapse

Protrusion of nucleus pulposus with slight impingement into spinal canal

36

Describe extrusion

Nucleus pulposus breaks through annulus fibrosus but remains within disc space

37

Describe sequestration

Nucleus pulposus breaks through annulus fibrosus and lies outside disc space in spinal canal

38

What direction do discs usually herniate
What is the consequence

Posterolaterally
Compression of spinal nerve roots

39

What happens when discs herniate posteriorly

May cause spinal cord compression (neurological emergency)

40

Effects of disc degeneration

Increased stress on discs
Increased stress on facet joints
Decreased size of vertebral foramina

41

Effect of increased stress on discs with disc degeneration

Spondylosis deformans (growth of osteophytes around degenerating IV discs)

42

Effect of increased stress on facet joints with disc degeneration

Osteoarthritis
pain as facet joints are innervated by meningeal branch of spinal nerve

43

Effect of decreased size of intervertebral foramina with disc degeneration

Compression of spinal nerves e.g cervical spondylosis

44

What is cervical spondylosis

Degenerative osteoarthritis of intervertebral joints in cervical spine causing the cervical vertebrae to stiffen (neck pain)
This puts pressure on nerve roots (radiculopathy) and spinal cord (myelopathy)

45

Effect of pressure on nerve roots in cervical spondylosis

Paraesthesia
Pain
Myotomal motor weakness

46

Effect of pressure on spinal cord in cervical spondylosis

Global weakness
Gait dysfunction
Loss of balance
Loss of bladder and bowel control

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