Cervical Vertebrae

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The cervical vertebrae are the seven uppermost bone pieces of the vertebral column, which are located immediately below the skull, with each one of them being separated from the other by a disc of cartilage. They are: C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7; the most superior one is called atlas (C1), connecting the base of the skull with the vertebral column. From C3 to C7, a cervical vertebra consists of an anterior body; a posterior spinous process, which juts out backwards, ending in a point; two lateral transverse processes; and two inferior articular processes. The vertebral foramen, through which the spinal cord runs, is bounded and contained by these bone processes. The lateral transverse processes of the cervical vertebrae also contain a smaller opening called transverse foramen, through which the vertebral arteries runs up into the head.


Cervical vertebrae's lateral view

The 4th and 7th cervical vertebrae