Anatomy that the Spine and also Peripheral Nervous device | American combination of Neurological Surgeons
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The spinal cord is an expansion of the central nervous device (CNS), which consists of the brain and spinal cord. The spinal cord begins at the bottom that the brain stem (at the area called the medulla oblongata) and also ends in the reduced back, as it tapers to type a cone dubbed the conus medullaris.

You are watching: A band of connective tissue that extends to the coccyx

Anatomically, the spinal cord runs from the height of the highest neck bone (the C1 vertebra) to around the level that the L1 vertebra, i m sorry is the highest possible bone the the lower ago and is found just below the rib cage. The spinal cord is about 18 inches (45 centimeters) in length and is reasonably cylindrical in shape. The cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) segments residence the spinal cord"s two locations of enlargement. A fibrous band called the filum terminale begins at the reminder of the conus medullaris and extends to the pelvis.

At the bottom the the spinal cord (conus medullaris) is the cauda equina, a arsenal of nerves the derives its surname from the Latin translation of "horse"s tail" (early anatomists assumed the collection of nerves resembled a horse"s tail).

Cerebrospinal liquid (CSF) surrounding the spinal cord, i beg your pardon is also shielded by three protective layers referred to as the meninges (dura, arachnoid and pia mater).

The spinal cord lies inside the spinal column, i m sorry is consisted of of 33 bones called vertebrae. 5 vertebrae are fused with each other to form the sacrum (part of the pelvis), and four small vertebrae room fused with each other to type the coccyx (tailbone).

The spine chin is divided into four sections, not consisting of the tailbone:

Cervical vertebrae (C1-C7): situated in the neck Thoracic vertebrae (T1-T12): situated in the upper back and attached come the ribcage Lumbar vertebrae (L1-L5): located in the lower back Sacral vertebrae (S1-S5): situated in the pelvis

Between the vertebral bodies (except cervical vertebrae 1 and 2) room discs serving as a supportive structure for the spine. This oval-shaped discs have a hard outer layer (annulus fibrosus) that surrounds a softer material called the cell nucleus pulposus. This discs act together shock absorbers because that the spinal bones. Ligaments attached come the vertebrae likewise serve as supportive structures.

There are 31 bag of spinal nerves and roots. Eight pairs of cervical nerves departure the cervical cord at each vertebral level. One member that the pair exit on the ideal side and the various other exits ~ above the left. The an initial cervical root exits above the C1 vertebra. The 2nd cervical root exits between the C1-C2 segment and the remaining roots departure just listed below the correspondingly numbered vertebra. The eighth nerve root exits between the C7 and T1 vertebra.

There space 12 thoracic nerve pairs. The an initial nerve source exits in between the T1 and also T2 vertebrae. Over there are five lumbar nerve pairs. The an initial of these nerve root exits between L1 and also L2. Over there are five sacral nerve pairs. The very first nerve source exits between S1 and also S2. One pair the coccygeal (Co1) nerves meets in the area of the tailbone.

By means of the peripheral nervous system (PNS), nerve impulses travel to and also from the brain through the spinal cord to a particular location in the body. The PNS is a facility system the nerves that branch off from the spinal nerve roots. This nerves travel outside of the spinal canal come the top extremities (arms, hands and also fingers), to the muscles of the trunk, to the upper and lower four times (arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet and toes) and to the guts of the body.

Any interruption of spinal cord role by disease or injury at a specific level may result in a ns of sensation and motor role below the level. Depending on the severity the the disease or injury, the lose of function may be permanent.


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Annulus fibrosus – The fibrous, ring-like outer section of one intervertebral disc.

Anterior – introduce to the front of the human body or given structure.

Anterolateral – situated or developing in front of and also to the side.

Arachnoiditis – Inflammation the the arachnoid membrane (the center of the three protective layers called the meninges); most generally seen about the spinal cord and also cauda equina.

Arthritis – Inflammation the a joint, normally accompanied by swelling, pain and restriction that motion.

Bone spur – Bony development or unstable edge the bone.

Cauda equina – The repertoire of nerves at the finish of the spinal cord that resembles a horse"s tail.

Cervical spine – The neck an ar of the spine consisting of the first seven vertebrae.

Coccyx – more commonly recognized as the tailbone, this is a bony structure in the an ar of the spine below the sacrum.

Conus medullaris – The cone-shaped bottom that the spinal cord, typically at the level that L1.

Disc (Intervertebral) – A tough, elastic cushion located in between the vertebrae in the spinal column; acts as a shock absorber for the vertebrae.

Disc degeneration – The destruction of a disc. A bowl in the spine might wear out over time. A deteriorated disc might or might not cause pain.

Distal – located downstream.

Facet – A joint developed when a posterior structure of a vertebra the joins with a page of an surrounding vertebra; this joint allows for motion in the spinal column. Each vertebra has actually a right and also left superior (upper) facet and a right and also left worse (lower) facet.

Foramen – An opening in the vertebrae that the spine through which the spinal nerve root travel.

Herniated disc – condition in which the jelly-like core product of a key bulges or ruptures the end of its common position; a herniated disc might exert press on the neighboring nerve root and/or the spinal cord.

Joint – The junction of two or an ext bones the permits varying degrees of motion between the bones.

Lamina – The planarization or arched component of the vertebral arch that forms the roof or back component of the spinal canal.

Lateral – situated on the side or away from the midline that the body.

Ligament – Fibrous connective tissue that web links bones together at joints or the passes between bones of the spine.

Lumbar spine – The reduced back region of the spine; consists of the five vertebrae between the ribs and the pelvis.

Nerves – Neural tissue that conducts electric impulses (messages) from the mind and spinal cord come all various other parts that the body; likewise conveys sensory details from the body to the main nervous system.

Nerve root – The initial portion of a spinal nerve as it originates native the spinal cord.

Neural arch – The bony arch that the back part of a vertebra that surrounds the spinal cord; also referred to as the vertebral arch, it is composed of the spinous process and lamina.

Pedicle – The bony component of each side the the neural arch of a vertebra the connects the lamina (back part) v the vertebral body (front part).

Posterior – The earlier or rear side the the human body or a offered structure.

Proximal – located upstream.

Rotation – Twisting activity of one vertebra on one more as a patient turns from one side to the other.

Sacrum – part of the pelvis just over the coccyx (tailbone) and below the lumbar spine (lower back).

Sacrum – part of the pelvis just above the coccyx (tailbone) and also below the lumbar spine (lower back).

Sciatica – A put term indicating pain along the course of the sciatic nerve; typically provided in the ago of the buttocks and also running down the earlier of the leg and also thigh to below the knee.

Scoliosis – one abnormal sideways curvature that the spine.

Spinal canal – A bony channel located in the vertebral obelisk that protects the spinal cord and nerve roots.

Spinal cord – The longitudinal cord that nerve organization enclosed in the spinal canal. It offer not just as a pathway because that nerve impulses to and also from the brain, but likewise as a facility for operating and also coordinating reflex plot independent of the brain.

Spinal stenosis – Abnormal narrowing of the vertebral column that may result in press on the spinal cord, spinal sac or nerve roots stemming indigenous the spinal cord.

Spine – The flexible bone column prolonging from the basic of the skull come the tailbone. That is make of 33 bones known as vertebrae, and is referred to as the vertebral column, spinal pillar or backbone.

Spondylitis – Inflammation the vertebrae.

Spondylolisthesis – The forward displacement or "slippage" of one vertebra ~ above another.

Spondylosis – Degenerative bony transforms in the spine, normally most significant at the vertebral joints and also intervertebral discs.

Superior – Situated over or directed upward toward the head of one individual.

Thoracic spine – The an ar of the spine attached to the ribcage; located between the cervical and lumbar areas, it is composed of 12 vertebrae.

Vertebrae – The 33 skeletal that comprise the spine, individually described as a vertebra. They are separated into the cervical spine (neck), the thoracic spine (upper back or rib cage), the lumbar spine (lower back) and the sacral spine (pelvis or basic of the spine).

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