cervical spine

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Related to cervical spine: cervical spine injury, Cervical Spondylosis


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.

cervical spine

Clinical anatomy The region of the vertebral column encompassing C1 through C7
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Patient discussion about cervical spine

Q. I have hurt my cervical spine and shoulder in a rear end car crash in July. Why does it still hurt?

A. Spine and back injuries are known to to be causing a lot of pain and discomfort and for a long period of time. You should try and do some mellow exercise and physiotherapy that might help you a lot. If the pain is unbarable, you should consult your doctor about using pain medications.

More discussions about cervical spine
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References in periodicals archive ?
At Kalafong Hospital in Pretoria, CTA is routinely used as a screening tool to exclude vertebral artery injury in all patients who have fractures involving the transverse foraminae of the cervical spine, those with facet joint dislocations, and those with fractures involving the first to the third cervical vertebrae.
Term Definition Cervical spine injury The loss of cervical spine range of motion with associated pain that limited the ability of a player to fully play or train after a 24h period.
described the development of a pharyngeal diverticulum following anterior cervical spine surgery [4].
Caption: Figure 1: MRI of cervical spine: spinal cord compression at level of the foramen magnum secondary to craniocervical junction anomaly with focal severe kyphosis of the upper cervical spine (C3-C4).
The dynamic radiographs revealed that the ROM of the cervical spine was well preserved (45.22[degrees]), and C4–C5, C5–C6 segments regained a ROM of 7.50[degrees] and 6.15[degrees], respectively [Figure 1]d and [Figure 1]e.
Immediate postoperative computed tomography (CT) scan of the cervical spine showed a well-fixed bone graft still located at the point of fixation.
A study to analyses pattern and treatment of upper cervical spine injuries experience from developing world.
The King Cobra plate was designed as a low-profile, titanium plating option for the cervical spine and has been demonstrated to reduce the incidence of cage migration and vascular injury and to shorten surgical time.
X-Core Mini VBR is designed to be used with supplemental fixation cleared by the FDA for use in the cervical spine. These implants are intended for use with autograft or allogenic bone graft comprised of cancellous and/or corticocancellous bone graft, as an adjunct to fusion.
Traumatic cervical spine distraction injury at C6-C7.

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