Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.


1. a thornlike process or projection; called also acantha and spina.
2. the rigid bony structure in the midline of the back, composed of the vertebrae; called also backbone, spinal column, and vertebral column.

The spinal column is the axis of the skeleton; the skull and limbs are in a sense appendages. The vertebrae also provide the protective bony corridor (spinal canal) through which the spinal cord passes; they can move to a certain extent and so give flexibility to the spine, allowing it to bend forward, sideways and, to a lesser extent, backward. In the areas of the neck and lower back, the spine also can pivot, which permits the turning of the head and torso.

There are usually 24 movable vertebrae and nine that are fused together. The topmost are the seven cervical vertebrae, which form the back of the neck, supporting the skull. The head turns from side to side by means of a pivotal motion between the two highest vertebrae. Below these are the 12 thoracic vertebrae, the supports on which the ribs are hinged, and then the five lumbar vertebrae, the largest movable vertebrae (the cervical are the smallest). Below the lumbar vertebrae, the spine terminates with two groups of vertebrae fused into single bones: the sacrum, composed of five vertebrae, and the coccyx, composed of four vertebrae. Viewed from the side of the body, the spine has the shape of a gentle double S curve.
Malformations of the Spine. Of the various types of spinal malformations, some are congenital and others the result of postural defects or injuries. spina bifida is congenital. kyphosis may occasionally be congenital but is more often caused by one of the diseases that attack the structure of the bones. The most common of these is pott's disease, or tuberculosis affecting the vertebrae and soft tissues of the spine. Another is osteitis deformans, a type of bone inflammation in which parts of the bone are replaced by softer tissue. scoliosis is a curvature of the spine toward one side.
cervical spine that portion of the spine comprising the cervical vertebrae.
lumbar spine that portion of the spine comprising the lumbar vertebrae.
thoracic spine that part of the spine comprising the thoracic vertebrae.


cervical spine.


abbreviation for cervical spine.
References in periodicals archive ?
This is concerning, because the presence or absence of neck pain is a major component in many clearance protocols for C-spine trauma.
The Canadian C-spine rule performs better than unstructured physician judgment.
5] presented that the most common mechanism of C-spine injury was motor vehicle related (52%), followed by sporting injuries (27%).
The Ottawa group have previously examined the acceptability of the Canadian C-spine rule to clinicians (Brehaut et al 2009).
Plain C-spine X-rays and multislice CT of the C-spine were normal, however CT of the thoracic spine demonstrated a comminuted fracture of T7, a burst fracture of T8 with dislocation at T7/T8 and significant retropulsion of bony fragments into the spinal canal, suggesting a high likelihood of spinal cord injury at this level.
For a lateral cross-table C-spine exam with 80 kVp at 32 mAs, the exposure is 124.
A comparison study between the above two mentioned investigations (NEXUS and Canadian C-Spine Rule) showed the Canadian study to have superior sensitivity and specificity.
The physician would then decide whether to obtain C-spine radiography; if no X-my was obtained, a structured telephone interview 14 days later determined whether a clinically important C-spine injury had taken place.
It wasn't compound,'' 16-year-old Aimee Reed told an evaluator about a boy lying on a C-spine board.
The Canadian C-Spine Rules (CCSR) and the National Emergency X-Radiography Utilization Group (NEXUS) have been designed to help establish whether or not low-risk patients require cervical spine imaging.
A woman needed urgent intubation but was in c-spine precautions, and I had a new resident tagging along with me at night.