Lumbar spine

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, 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.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

Lumbar spine

The segment of the human spine above the pelvis that is involved in low back pain. There are five vertebrae, or bones, in the lumbar spine.
Mentioned in: Low Back Pain
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The recent prevalence of osteoporosis and low bone mass in the United States based on bone mineral density at the femoral neck or lumbar spine. J Bone Miner Res 2014; 29(11): 2520-6.
In conclusion, on the basis of qualitative and quantitative assessments, T2 Dixon sequence was superior to SPAIR for the quality of fat suppression and for the delineation of lumbar spine lesions.
Biomechanical comparison of effects of the Dynesys and Coflex dynamic stabilization systems on range of motion and loading characteristics in the lumbar spine: a finite element study.
All the patients having degenerative lumbar spine disease (DSLD) undergoing surgery for the first time and having symptoms for more than six weeks, patients having age from 20-60 years and patients of both genders were included in the study.
Similar multivariate analysis on all patients undergoing degenerative lumbar spine surgery including PD patients also identified osteoporosis (OR = 1.3, CI = 1.2-1.4, p < 0.0001) as having increased odds of revision surgery (Supplementary Appendix B).
For the evaluation of the spinal canal, stenosis is compatible with an AP diameter of the canal less than 10 mm in the cervical spine or 12 mm in the lumbar spine (Figure 19).
Ames, "Complications and outcomes of lumbar spine surgery in elderly people: A review of the literature," Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, vol.
Singer, Surgical and nonsurgical management of lumbar spinal stenosis: four-year outcomes from The Maine Lumbar Spine Study," Spine (Phila Pa 1976), vol.
However, when the lesion occurs in the lower thoracic and lumbar spine, a fusion procedure should be considered to avoid postoperative progression of any residual ossified lesion and to avoid intervertebral instability [7,15-17].
However, comparisons between the frequency of the risks of osteopenia and osteopenia at the femur and lumbar spine revealed a significant difference between the three groups.
The Avenue L lateral lumbar cage is cleared by the FDA for intervertebral body fusion of the lumbar spine, from L2 to SI, in skeletally mature patients who have had six months of non-operative treatment.