Vertebral column

Vertebral column: Anatomy & FunctionKey facts about the anatomy of the vertebral column
~ 2 min

The vertebral column (columna vertebralis) is part of the trunk skeleton and consists of 32-34 vertebrae.

Vertebral column (columna vertebralis)
Vertebral column (columna vertebralis)

The vertebral column consists of the following five divsions, each of which includes a certain number of vertebrae:

  • Cervical spine (cervical vertebrae / vertebrae cervicales) – 7 vertebrae

Cervical spine (cervical vertebrae / vertebrae cervicales)
Cervical spine (cervical vertebrae / vertebrae cervicales)
  • Thoracic spine (thoracic vertebrae / vertebrae thoracicae) – 12 vertebrae

    Thoracic spine (thoracic vertebrae / vertebrae thoracicae)
    Thoracic spine (thoracic vertebrae / vertebrae thoracicae)
  • Lumbar spine (lumbal vertebrae / vertebrae lumbales) – 5 vertebrae

    Lumbar spine (lumbal vertebrae / vertebrae lumbales)
    Lumbar spine (lumbal vertebrae / vertebrae lumbales)
  • Sacral spine (sacral vertebrae / vertebrae sacrales) – 5 vertebrae that fuse together and form a single bone – the sacrum (os sacrum)

    Sacral spine (sacral vertebrae / vertebrae sacrales)
    Sacral spine (sacral vertebrae / vertebrae sacrales)
    • Coccyx (coccygeal vertebrae) – 3 to 5 vertebrae, which fuse with each other and form a single bone (os coccygis)

      Coccyx (coccygeal vertebrae)
      Coccyx (coccygeal vertebrae)

      The human skeleton is not perfectly even from a sagittal perspective, it has several curvatures (curvaturae):

  • Cervical lordosis (lordosis cervicis) – forward curve

    Cervical lordosis (lordosis cervicis)
    Cervical lordosis (lordosis cervicis)
  • Thoracic kyphosis (kyphosis thoracica) – backward curve

    Thoracic kyphosis (kyphosis thoracica)
    Thoracic kyphosis (kyphosis thoracica)
  • Lumbar lordosis (lordosis lumbalis) – forward curve

    Lumbar lordosis (lordosis lumbalis)
    Lumbar lordosis (lordosis lumbalis)
  • Sacral kyphosis (kyphosis sacralis) – backward curve

Sacral kyphosis (kyphosis sacralis)
Sacral kyphosis (kyphosis sacralis)
Dictionary

Vertebral column

vertebral column
columna vertebralis
vertebra
vertebra
vertebrae
vertebrae
cervical vertebrae
vertebrae cervicales
thoracic vertebrae
vertebrae thoracicae
lumbar vertebrae
vertebrae lumbales
sacral vertebrae
vertebrae sacrales
sacrum
os sacrum
coccygeal vertebrae
vertebrae coccygeae
coccyx
os coccygis
cervical lordosis
lordosis cervicis
thoracic kyphosis
kyphosis thoracica
lumbar lordosis
lordosis lumbalis
sacral kyphosis
kyphosis sacralis
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