Medical Dictionary Definitions A-Z List
Medical Dictionary Definitions A - Z - «V»:
Vertebra, first cervical
Vertebra, first cervical: The first cervical (neck) vertebra is called the atlas. It supports the head.
The atlas bone is named for the Greek god Atlas who was condemned to support the earth and its heavens on his shoulders. (Because the god Atlas often adorned maps, a compilation of maps came to b...
Prominent vertebra: The 7th cervical (neck) vertebra (C7) is sometimes called the prominent vertebra because of the length of its spinous process (the projection off the back of the vertebral body).
The spinous process of the top thoracic vertebra (T1) just below C7 is sometimes even more prominent ...
Vertebra, second cervical
Cervical vertebra, second: The second cervical vertebra is called the axis. It is so-named because the uppermost cervical vertebra (called the atlas) rotates about the odontoid process of the second cervical vertebra. The joint between the axis and atlas is a pivot type of joint. It allows the head ...
Vertebra, slipped: See: Spondylolisthesis....
Vertebrae: The preferred plural of vertebra. (The alternate plural is vertebras.) See also:
Sacral vertebrae; and
Cervical vertebrae: The cervical (neck) vertebrae are the upper 7 vertebrae in the spinal column (the vertebral column). They are designated C1 through C7 from the top down.
C1 is called the atlas. It supports the head and is named for the Greek god Atlas who was condemned to support the earth and i...
Coccygeal vertebrae: The coccyx, the small tail-like bone at the bottom of the spine near the anus, is made up of 3-5 (average of 4) rudimentary vertebrae....
Lumbar vertebrae: There are 5 lumbar vertebrae. The lumbar vertebrae are situated between the thoracic vertebrae and the sacral vertebrae in the spinal column. The 5 lumbar vertebrae are represented by the symbols L1 through L5....
Sacral vertebrae: There are 5 sacral vertebral bones. They are represented by the symbols S1 through S5 and are situated between the lumbar vertebrae and the coccyx (the lowest segment of the vertebral column). The sacral vertebrae are normally fused to form the sacrum....
Thoracic vertebrae: The 12 thoracic vertebrae are situated between the cervical (neck) vertebrae and the lumbar vertebrae. The thoracic vertebrae are represented by the symbols T1 through T12.
The thoracic vertebrae provide attachment for the ribs and make up part of the back of the thorax (the ches...
Vertebral arch: A circle of bone around the canal through which the spinal cord passes. A vertebral arch is composed of a floor at the back of the vertebra, walls (the pedicles), and a roof where two laminae join....
Vertebral artery: A key artery located in the back of the neck that
carries blood from the heart to the brain....
Vertebral column: The 33 vertebrae fit
together to form a flexible, yet extraordinarily tough,
column that serves to support the back through a full range
of motion. It also protects the spinal cord, which runs
from the brain through the hollow space in the middle of
the vertebral column. There...
Vertebral compression fracture
Vertebral compression fracture: A fracture that collapses a spinal vertebra as a result of the compression of bone, leading to collapse of the vertebrae much like a sponge collapses under the pressure of one's hand. Although they may occur without pain, such vertebral fractures often
cause a sever...
Vertebral rib: One of the last two ribs. A rib is said to be "vertebral" if it does not attach to the sternum (the breast bone) or to another rib.
There are usually 12 pairs of ribs in all. Each pair of ribs is attached to the building blocks of the spine (the vertebrae) in the back. The 12 pairs of...