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Vertebral Column and Spinal Cord

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49 Questions

What is the main distinguishing factor between cervical nerves and more caudal nerves?

Cervical nerves correspond in number to the vertebrae below them

Where does the dura mater of the spinal cord narrow and form an investing sheath for the pial part of the filum terminale?

At the level of SII

What does the subarachnoid space surrounding the spinal cord contain?

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)

Which layer of the spinal meninges adheres to the surface of the spinal cord?

Pia Mater

What is the function of the Gray ramus within a typical spinal nerve?

Visceral efferent fibers

Where does the apex of the spinal cord terminate in neonates?

Vertebra LIII

What structures continue to descend as a group of nerve fibers called cauda equina?

Dorsal and ventral roots below L1 and L2

Where does the filum terminale extend to?

Vertebra S2

What marks the end of the subarachnoid space where the filum joins with dura and arachnoid mater?

S4

Which regions of the spinal cord experience enlargements to supply the upper and lower limbs?

Cervical and lumbar regions

During fetal life, up to which month is the length of the spinal cord equal to that of the vertebral canal?

Third month

Which of the following statements about the cervical vertebrae (C3-C7) is NOT true?

The spinous processes are long and project inferiorly.

Which plane do the articulating processes of the thoracic vertebrae (T1-T12) lie in?

Coronal plane

Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of the lumbar vertebrae (L1-L5)?

The transverse processes are thick and broad.

Which movement is NOT allowed by the lumbar vertebrae (L1-L5)?

Rotation

Which of the following statements about the atlas (C1) is true?

It lacks a body and a spinous process.

Which structure on the anterior arch of the atlas (C1) serves as an attachment point for the anterior longitudinal ligament and the Longus colli muscle?

Anterior tubercle

What artery gives off the 5th pair of Lumbar Arteries in the abdominal aorta?

Median Sacral Artery

Which artery anastomoses with branches of the ascending cervical artery?

Vertebral Artery

Which artery is part of the Thyrocervical Trunk in the subclavian artery?

Inferior Thyroid Artery

What is the major drainage vessel of the vertebral body according to the text?

Basivertebral Vein

Which artery anastomoses with branches of deep cervical artery?

Occipital Artery

What is the name of the arterial plexus that is the major drainage of the vertebral body?

Basivertebral Vein

Which artery supplies the anterior two-thirds of the gray matter of the spinal cord?

Anterior spinal artery

What is the primary source of blood supply to the posterior one-third of the spinal cord?

Posterior spinal arteries

Which of the following statements about radicular arteries is NOT true?

They are the primary source of blood supply to the spinal cord.

Which of the following vessels DOES NOT contribute to the radicular arteries that supply the spinal cord?

Carotid artery

What is the name of the venous system that drains the spinal cord?

Internal vertebral venous plexus

How many longitudinal veins are responsible for the venous drainage of the spinal cord?

6

Match the curvature of the vertebral column with their corresponding type:

Primary Curvature = Thoracic Kyphosis & Sacral Kyphosis Secondary Curvature = Cervical Lordosis & Lumbar Lordosis

Match the following regions of the spine with their corresponding characteristics:

Cervical (C3-C7) = Body: small, wide side to side Thoracic (T1-T12) = Body: larger than cervical; heart shaped; bears two costal facets Lumbar (L1-L5) = Body: massive; kidney shaped Atlas (C1) = Lacks a body and spinous process

Match the following vertebrae with their respective movements allowed:

Lumbar (L1-L5) = Flexion & extension; lateral flexion; rotation prevented N/A = N/A Cervical (C3-C7) = Allows for the greatest range of motion Thoracic (T1-T12) = Rotation; flexion & extension

Match the following descriptions with the corresponding vertebrae:

Short, bifid spinous process = Cervical (C3-C7) Long, sharp spinous process = Thoracic (T1-T12) Short, blunt spinous process = Lumbar (L1-L5) Lacks a body and spinous process = Atlas (C1)

Match the following views with the corresponding vertebrae:

Superior view = Atlas (C1) Mid-Sagittal = Lumbar (L1-L5) Transverse plane articulating processes = Cervical (C3-C7) Coronal plane articulating processes = Thoracic (T1-T12)

Match the following structures with their associated vertebrae:

Triangular vertebral foramen = Lumbar (L1-L5) Circular vertebral foramen = Thoracic (T1-T12) Anterior arch with prominent tubercle = Atlas (C1)

Match the following structures with their respective vertebral levels:

Apical ligament of dens = Axis (C2) Facet for occipital condyle = Atlas (C1) Posterior tubercle = Atlas (C1) Dens = Axis (C2)

Match the following components of a typical spinal nerve with their functions:

Dorsal root = Consists of afferent fibers only Ventral root = For our purposes, efferent fibers only Posterior (Dorsal) primary ramus = Mixed function Anterior (Ventral) primary ramus = Mixed function

Match the following ligaments with their associated joints:

Posterior membrane = Atlanto-occipital joint Alar ligaments = Atlanto-axial joint Anterior Membrane = Atlanto-occipital joint Cruciate ligament = Atlanto-axial joint

Match the following synovial joint types with their corresponding vertebral articulations:

Condyloid type = Atlanto-occipital joint Pivot type = Median atlanto-axial joint Biconvex synovial joint = Lateral atlanto-axial joints Hinge type = Atlanto-axial joint

Match the following layers of the spinal meninges with their descriptions:

Dura Mater = Tough, tubular sheath or sac that lies free within the vertebral canal Arachnoid Mater = Thin, delicate, avascular lining that lies against the deep surface of the dura mater Pia Mater = Vascular membrane that adheres to the surface of the spinal cord Subarachnoid space = Contains cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)

Match the following anatomical features with their descriptions:

Gray ramus = Visceral efferent fibers Recurrent (meningeal) ramus = Mixed function Cauda equina = Continuation of nerve fibers descending beyond the spinal cord Filum terminale = Ends by blending with the epineurium of the spinal nerves

Match the following regions with their contents:

Epidural space = Contains fat, loose connective tissue, and vertebral venous plexus Subarachnoid space = Enlarges inferiorly after the spinal cord ends as the lumbar cistern Cauda equina = Located within the lumbar cistern and contains nerve roots Lumbar cistern = Contains cauda equina and part of filum terminale

Match the following ligaments with their functions in stabilizing the vertebral column:

Anterior and posterior atlanto-occipital membranes = Preventing excessive flexion/extension at Atlanto-occipital joint Cruciate ligament (composed of transverse ligament of atlas and superior & inferior longitudinal bands) = Stabilizing Atlanto-axial joint during rotation Apical ligament of dens = Restricting excessive rotation at Atlanto-axial joint Alar ligaments = Limiting excessive lateral bending at Atlanto-axial joint

Match the following joints with their specific movements permitted:

Biconvex synovial lateral atlanto-axial joints = Lateral bending of the head Pivot type median atlanto-axial joint = Rotation of skull side to side Condyloid type atlanto-occipital joint = Flexion/extension of the head with some lateral bending and rotation Hinge type atlanto-axial joint = Nodding movement of the head

Match the following arteries with their descriptions:

Posterior spinal artery = Supplies the posterior one-third of the spinal cord Anterior spinal artery = Supplies the anterior two-thirds of the gray matter of the spinal cord Thyrocervical Trunk artery = Part of subclavian artery and has anastomosis with deep cervical artery Ascending cervical artery = Anastomoses with branches of radicular arteries supplying spinal cord

Match the following structures with their characteristics:

Vertebral venous plexus = An important collateral channel connecting branches of inferior vena cava and dural venous sinuses Conus medullaris = Where pia mater extends from to form pial part of filum terminale Arachnoid trabeculae = Delicate strands connecting arachnoid mater to pia mater Denticulate ligaments = Longitudinally oriented sheets extending laterally from cord to arachnoid and dura

Match each artery with its respective branches:

Thoracic Aorta = Posterior Intercostal Arteries (3-11)/ Subcostal artery Abdominal Aorta = Lumbar Arteries/ Median Sacral artery External Carotid Artery = Occipital artery/ Ascending Pharyngneal artery Subclavian Artery = Vertebral Artery/ Inferior thyroid artery/ Transverse Cervical artery/ Superior Intercostal artery/ Deep Cervical artery

Match each description with its corresponding feature about arteries of the spinal cord:

Anterior Spinal Artery (1) = Formed by branches from vertebral aa./ Passes inferiorly in the anterior median fissure of the spinal cord/ Supplies the gray matter of the anterior 2/3 of the cord Posterior Spinal Arteries (2) = Arise from either the vertebral or posterior inferior cerebellar arteries / Supply the posterior 1/3 of the cord ( these are not large vessels, they are segmentally supplemented by blood from arteries along the length of the spinal cord which are called radicular arteries) Radicular Arteries = Run the entire length of the spinal cord because of small diameter they only supply blood to the superior cervical segments of the cord/ Enter the vertebral canal through the intervertebral foramina / The remainder of the cord receives its vascular supply from radicular aa. which arise from a number of vessels including the spinal branches of: vertebral a, deep cervical a., ascending cervical a., posterior intercostal aa., lumbar aa., lateral sacral a.

Match each Lymph node with its description:

Deep Cervical Nodes = Located along the IJV / Receive lymph directly from the cervical regions/ Deep cervical nodes form the jugular trunk that empties into the thoracic duct Axillary Nodes (subscapular group) = Within the axilla / Receives lymph from the skin and superficial mm. of the back of the neck and trunk / Transported to subclavian vein Intercostal Nodes = Lie near the heads of the ribs in each intercostal space/ Receive lymph from thoracic portion of the deep back./ Drain directly into cisterna chyli or thoracic duct Lateral Aortic Nodes = Both sides of the abdominal aorta/ Receive lymph from posterolateral abdominal wall/ Drain into lumbar trunks which join cisterna chyli

Study Notes

The Vertebral Column

  • Composed of 33 bones in total:
    • 7 cervical vertebrae (C1-C7)
    • 12 thoracic vertebrae (T1-T12)
    • 5 lumbar vertebrae (L1-L5)
    • 5 fused sacral vertebrae (S1-S5)
    • 3-4 fused coccygeal vertebrae (Co1-Co4)

Characteristics of Typical Vertebrae

  • Body (anteriorly located, weight-bearing portion of the vertebra)
  • Pedicles (2) arise posterolaterally from the vertebral body
  • Laminae (2) extend posteromedially from the pedicles and fuse in the midline
  • Spinous process (1) arises from the vertebral arch
  • Vertebral foramen (opening bounded by the body, pedicles, and laminae)
  • Vertebral canal (canal formed by the vertebral foramina)

Cervical, Thoracic, and Lumbar Vertebrae

  • Cervical (C3-C7):
    • Body: small, wide side to side
    • Spinous process: short, bifid, projects directly posteriorly
    • Vertebral foramen: triangular
    • Transverse processes: contain foramina
    • Articulating processes: transverse plane
    • Movements allowed: flexion and extension, lateral flexion, rotation
  • Thoracic (T1-T12):
    • Body: larger than cervical, heart-shaped, bears two costal facets
    • Spinous process: long, sharp, projects inferiorly
    • Vertebral foramen: circular
    • Transverse processes: bear facets for ribs (except T11 and T12)
    • Articulating processes: coronal plane
    • Movements allowed: rotation, flexion, and extension
  • Lumbar (L1-L5):
    • Body: massive, kidney-shaped
    • Spinous process: short, blunt, projects directly posteriorly
    • Vertebral foramen: triangular
    • Transverse processes: thin and tapered
    • Articulating processes: mid-sagittal plane
    • Movements allowed: flexion and extension, lateral flexion, rotation prevented

Atlas (C1) and Axis (C2)

  • Atlas (C1):
    • Widest of the cervical vertebrae
    • Lacks a body and spinous process
    • Anterior arch possesses a prominent tubercle (anterior tubercle)
    • Articulates with the axis (C2) at the dens
  • Axis (C2):
    • Superior projection from the body called the dens (odontooid process)
    • Articulates with the atlas (C1) at the anterior arch
    • Spinous process: broad, heavy, and bifurcated
    • Transverse processes: short and angled inferiorly

Joints of the Vertebral Column

  • Symphyseal joints: intervertebral joints between vertebral bodies and containing intervertebral discs
  • Atlanto-occipital joint: between the atlas (C1) and the occipital condyles of the cranial base
  • Atlanto-axial joint: between the atlas (C1) and the axis (C2)

Spinal Nerves

  • All spinal nerves have the following roots and branches:
    • Dorsal root (afferent fibers only)
    • Ventral root (efferent fibers only)
    • Posterior (dorsal) primary ramus (branch) (mixed)
    • Anterior (ventral) primary ramus (branch) (mixed)
    • Gray ramus (visceral efferent fibers)
    • Recurrent (meningeal) ramus (mixed)

Meninges

  • Epidural space: contains fat, loose connective tissue, and the vertebral venous plexus
  • Dura mater: a tough, tubular sheath or sac that lies free within the vertebral canal
  • Subarachnoid space: contains cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
  • Pia mater: a vascular membrane that adheres to the surface of the spinal cord
  • Arachnoid mater: a thin, delicate, avascular lining

Arteries of the Vertebral Column

  • The arterial supply to the vertebral column is derived from a number of arteries along its length
  • Anterior spinal artery: formed by branches from vertebral arteries
  • Posterior spinal arteries: arise from either the vertebral or posterior inferior cerebellar arteries
  • Radicular arteries: run the entire length of the spinal cord and supply blood to the superior cervical segments

Venous Drainage of the Spinal Cord

  • The venous drainage of the spinal cord consists of six longitudinally arranged veins
  • Three anterior external spinal veins and three posterior external spinal veins
  • These veins are situated deep to the arachnoid mater and drain into the internal vertebral venous plexus

Learn about the unique characteristics of cervical, thoracic, and lumbar vertebrae, including their sizes, shapes, and movements allowed. The slides cover details such as body structure, spinous process, vertebral foramen, and more.

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