Spine Anatomy

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The spine is composed of thirty-three vertebrae:

  • 7 cervical
  • 12 thoracic
  • 5 lumbar
  • 5 fused sacral
  • 4 fused coccygeal

Vertebral bodies increase in width in a craniocaudad direction except (T1 to T3)

The spine consists of  2 lordotic segments:

  • Cervical:  25º cervical lordosis
  • Lumbar:  50º lumbar lordosis

And 2 kyphotic segments:

  • Thoracic:  35º kyphosis
  • Sacrococcygeal

These curves allow the weight bearing axis to be just anterior to S1.

Denis Model of Spine Columns ( The three column theory )

Anterior column:

  •  Anterior longitudinal ligament.
  • Anterior ½ of the body
  •  Annulus fibrosus
  • Disc

Middle column

  • Posterior ½ of body
  • Posterior ½ of Annulus
  • Posterior ½ of Disc
  • Posterior longitudinal ligament

Posterior column

  • Facets
  • Neural arches
  • Ligamentum flavum
  • Interspinous ligament

 

 

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