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LIF101 Anatomy. Lecture 3: The Spine and Rib Cage. The Spine. A.K.A. vertebral column Curved column of 24 vertebrae Functions: Supports the trunk and head Surrounds and protects the spinal cord Four-arch curve 2 posterior curves 2 anterior curves. Precision of balance provided by:.

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lif101 anatomy

Lecture 3:

The Spine and Rib Cage

the spine
The Spine
  • A.K.A. vertebral column
  • Curved column of 24 vertebrae
  • Functions:
    • Supports the trunk and head
    • Surrounds and protects the spinal cord
  • Four-arch curve
    • 2 posterior curves
    • 2 anterior curves
precision of balance provided by
Precision of balance provided by:
  • Firm root in the pelvis
  • Variation of size and segments according to their loads
  • Ingenious 4 arch curve supports rib cage
vertebra e
  • Bones that form the spinal column
  • Size and shape vary, depending on function and load
  • Three types of vertebrae
    • cervical (7)
    • thoracic (12)
    • lumbar (5)
    • Plus two more bones: the sacrum and coccyx
sacrum is a spade shaped bone
Sacrum is a spade-shaped bone
  • Bends convexly backward
  • Wedged between two iliac bones of the pelvis
  • COCCYX (tail bone)
  • G. kokkux, cuckoo
  • Look for sacral triangle landmark
know the parts of a vertebra
Know the Parts of a Vertebra

Body: the large

central mass which yields broad upper

and lower surfaces

for articulation with adjoining vertabrae.

  • Articulation = connection between bones
vertabral foramen
Vertabral Foramen
  • Vertebral foramen
  • Foramen: an opening or passage – in this case,
  • Spinal cord passes through this opening
articular processes engage in a mechanical locking operation
Articular processes engage in a mechanical locking operation
  • 2 transverse processesare deep and serve as muscularattachments
  • « Spinal gutters » contain long muscles of the spine
prominent landmark
Prominent Landmark
  • One
  • Spinous Process
  • An important visual feature to notice while drawing
intervertebral disks
Intervertebral disks
  • Disk-shaped pads of fibro-cartilage between vertebrae
  • Serve as cushions/shock absorbers for spine
  • Allow flexing, extension and some lateral movement
  • Flatten slightly throughout the day
  • No intervertebral disk between C1 and C2.
cervical vertebrae
Cervical Vertebrae
  • Seven vertebrae of neck (cervical = “of the neck”)
  • Smallest, lightest vertebrae, with most flexible joints
  • Provide support and movement of head
  • C1 = atlas
  • C2 = axis
  • C7 = vertebra prominens
atlas and axis are unique
Atlas and Axis are unique
  • The Atlas supports the skull. It is a ring of bone. It allows us to nod our head.
  • The Axis is a blunt tooth–like process that projects upward.
  • It has a ‘Dens’ (Latin for ‘tooth’) that provides a type of pivot and collar allowing the head and atlas to rotate around the dens.
thoracic vertebrae
Thoracic Vertebrae
  • 12 total
  • Thoracic = “of the thorax”
  • Articulate with ribs
  • Thoracic vertebrae are considered part of the thorax
lumbar vertebrae
Lumbar Vertebrae
  • 5 total
  • Lumbar region,

a.k.a. “small” of back

  • Largest, thickest vertebrae;

they support the most weight

  • 5 separate pieces in cartilagenous infant skeleton
  • Fuse to form one solid bone in adults
  • Forms posterior wall of pelvis
  • Sacral foramina
  • Sacrum of 14 to 16 month old baby
  • In children, it consists of usually five un-fused vertebrae which begin to fuse between ages 16–18 and are usually completely fused into a single bone by age 26.
  • A.K.A. tailbone
  • 4 separate bones in cartilagenous infant skeleton
  • Fuse to form 1 solid coccyx in adults
rib cage
Rib Cage
  • A.K.A. thoracic cage
  • Includes thoracic vertebrae, ribs, sternum, costal cartilage
  • Protects contents of chest cavity and supports trunk muscles
  • Costosternal joints
  • Costovertebral joints
  • Thoracic arch
costosternal joints
Costosternal Joints
  • Connect the ribs to the sternum
  • 12 pairs of ribs
    • 7 true ribs
    • 5 false ribs (including 2 floating ribs)
  • Head of rib articulates with vertebra
  • Ribs move as a unit to accommodate breathing
  • Intercostal spaces =

(spaces between ribs)

false and floating ribs
False and Floating Ribs
  • False rib: One of the last 5 pairs of ribs. A rib is said to be "false" if it does not attach to the sternum (the breast bone).
  • All 12 pairs of ribs attach to the building blocks of the spine (vertebrae) in the back. The 12 pairs of ribs consist of:
  • True ribs: The first seven ribs attach to the sternum (the breast bone) in the front and are known as true (or sternal) ribs.
  • False ribs: The lower five ribs do not directly connect to the sternum and are known as false ribs.
  • The upper three false ribs connect to the costal cartilages of the ribs just above them. The last two (#11 and 12) are false ribs. They have no ventral attachment (no anchor at all in front) and are called floating ribs.
  • A.K.A. breastbone
  • Lies in anterior midline of thorax
  • Three parts:
    • Manubrium (L. handle)
    • Body
    • Xiphoid process (L. sword)
  • Surface landmarks
    • Jugular notch
    • Sternal angle (a.k.a. angle of Louis)
  • Broad, upper part of the sternum
  • Quadrangular shape, wider superiorly and narrower inferiorly
  • Articulates with the clavicles and the first two ribs.
manubrialsternal joint
Manubrialsternal Joint
  • A ridge where the manubrium and the body of the sternum meet
  • Raised horizontal ridge located at the second rib joint
xiphoid process
Xiphoid Process
  • Xiphoid means “sword-shaped”
  • May be bone or cartilage
  • Apex of thoracic arch
  • “Pit” of stomach, where heartburn often occurs
jugular notch1
Jugular Notch
  • Located on the


Forms a “pit” in the


  • Erogenous zone
  • Vulnerable target for finger strikes in martial arts (Jiu-Jitsu).
sternal angle
Sternal Angle
  • Known as the “Angle of Louis”
  • Sternum is

(NOT a 90 degree angle)

  • Not perpendicular

to the ground plane

  • Actually a slight diagonal:

140 degrees

  • Lies between the Manubrium

and the Xiphoid process

review of surface landmarks
Review of Surface Landmarks
  • Spinous processes of vertebrae (especially C7)
  • Ribs (usually false ribs are more apparent.)
  • Thoracic arch
  • Location of xiphoid process (often appears as a pit.)
  • Jugular notch
  • Sternal angle (or Angle of Louis)
  • Reading:
    • Peck: Pages 22 – 33