cervical vertebra

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cervical vertebra (C)

one of the first seven segments of the vertebral column. They differ from the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae through the presence of a vertical costotransverse foramen in each transverse process. The first cervical vertebra (atlas) has no body, supports the head, and contains a smooth, oval facet for articulation with the dens of the second cervical vertebra. The dens extends from the cranial portion of the body of the second cervical vertebra (axis), which has a very large, strong spinous process with a bifid extremity. The seventh cervical vertebra has a very long, prominent spinous process that is nearly horizontal and is often used as a palpable reference for locating the other cervical vertebrae. The bodies of the four remaining cervical vertebrae are small, oval, and broader than the other three in transverse diameter and contain large, triangular foramina within their transverse processes. Their spinous processes are short and bifid. Compare coccygeal vertebra, lumbar vertebra, sacral vertebra, thoracic vertebra. See also vertebra.

cervical vertebra

One of the seven vertebrae of the neck.
See also: vertebra

Patient discussion about cervical vertebra

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 vertebra
References in periodicals archive ?
It would appear, therefore, that our cervical vertebra is another rare example of an older terrestrial fossil being mobilized and redeposited in this transgressive lag.
The Levallois point penetrated into the body of the 3rd cervical vertebra from high to low and from front to back.
A cervical rib is a supernumerary (extra) rib that arises from the 7th cervical vertebra.
4) This condition mostly affects the sixth cervical vertebra, although involvement of other cervical vertebrae has been reported.
When his symptoms did not improve, a cervical spine radiograph showed a lytic lesion of the fifth cervical vertebra.
Mr Atkinson said the wound to Mr Jones' neck severed the major blood vessels but not the cervical vertebra.
The nuchal ligament is an anatomic structure made of a fibroelastic membrane that extends from the occipital bone to the spine of the seventh cervical vertebra.