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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 ?
The Ottawa group have previously examined the acceptability of the Canadian C-spine rule to clinicians (Brehaut et al 2009).
Now, after 14 series, I daresay the committed ER fan could walk into any county hospital and confidently order a tox screen, CBC, chem-7 and cross-table C-spine with the best of them.
An adequate C-spine clearance protocol for unconscious trauma patients must avoid missed injuries and also avoid complications of unnecessary spinal immobilisation that include decubitus ulceration, pulmonary infection, deep vein thrombosis and increased length of hospital stay.
The three most common exams that require a horizontal beam from a portable machine are the AP chest, lateral cross-table C-spine and surgical cross-table lateral hip.
The Canadian C-Spine Rule for Radiography in Alert and Stable Trauma Patients" is another prospective cohort study investigating this issue.
At that point, if they are lucid and have a normal C-spine examination, it is not necessary to immobilize their C-spine with a C-collar and a spinal board.
She used her skills to assist one victim who was lying on the road in critical condition, holding manual C-spine stabilization until help arrived.