Anatomy, Back, Sacral Vertebrae
Sattar M, Guthrie ST. Anatomy, Back, Sacral Vertebrae. StatPearls 2020; .
The vertebral column, or spine, is composed of 33 vertebrae. These vertebrae play an essential role in protecting the spinal cord and the spinal nerves. They serve as a support for the head, neck, thorax, abdomen, and pelvis, while also allowing for flexibility and mobility through the presence of intervertebral discs and facet joints without compromising their supportive function. The spine consists of multiple segments. These are the: Cervical Spine - 7 vertebrae. Thoracic Spine - 12 vertebrae. Lumbar Spine - 5 vertebrae. Sacral Spine - 5 fused vertebrae. Coccyx - 3-5 fused vertebrae. A typical vertebra consists of a vertebral body and vertebral arch. These structures enclose the vertebral foramen, in which lies the spinal cord. Seven processes arise from each vertebra. These include two superior articular processes, two inferior articular processes, two transverse processes, and a spinous process. These processes serve as joint facets with adjacent vertebrae, attachment origins for muscles, and form intervertebral foramina from which spinal nerves arise.