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Anatomy and Pathology of Spinal Surgery

Spine is the complex protective cover for the spinal cord. The spinal columns consist of 24 mobile vertebrae; the 7 of them are cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic vertebrae and 5 lumbar vertebrae. Spinal cord is composed of a large filament of nerve tissue and these nerves provide the brain with information and allow brain to control the movement of the body.

Each individual functional spine unit allows for flexion, extension, rotation and bending of the body. Vertebral body is the circular core bone of the spinal column. The joints along the back side of spine are the facet joints. Each vertebra have two sets of facet joints: one pair faces upward and the other pair faces downwards.

Facet joints allow the movement of the spine. In between each pair of vertebrae, a shock absorbing disc made up of cartilage. Each disc has a spongy cent core surrounded by a tough outer ring. The pedicle and transverse processes are the "wings" on each side of the spine where the muscles are attached. With time or trauma, spine can get injured. Degeneration of the spine usually occurs overtime causing damage to the discs and put pressure on the spinal nerves which causes pain and weakness in the arm, legs or back.

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