Vertebral Canal And Its Contents

The spinal cord is the continuation of the medulla oblongata and begins at the vertebral foramen of the atlas. The spinal cord is thin and slender, and almost circular in cross section, being flattened slightly from anterior to posterior. There are 31 pairs of spinal nerves emerging from the spinal cord—8 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacral, and 1 coccygeal. Each spinal nerve is composed of an anterior and a posterior root (Fig. 15). Each anterior root contains multiple rootlets that are the peripheral pro

Coccyx And Nerve Nodes

Fig. 15. Meninges and vasculature of the spinal cord. The spinal nerve is short and branches immediately after its formation into anterior and posterior primary rami. The spinal arteries and veins pierce the pia to vascularize the cord. The spinal branches shown are representative of many spinal branches supplied by segmental arteries in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral regions. The internal venous plexus (anterior labeled) lies in the epidural space. (Courtesy of Stephen G. Moon.)

Fig. 15. Meninges and vasculature of the spinal cord. The spinal nerve is short and branches immediately after its formation into anterior and posterior primary rami. The spinal arteries and veins pierce the pia to vascularize the cord. The spinal branches shown are representative of many spinal branches supplied by segmental arteries in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral regions. The internal venous plexus (anterior labeled) lies in the epidural space. (Courtesy of Stephen G. Moon.)

cesses of motor neuron cell bodies located in the anterior gray horn of the cord. Similarly, each posterior root contains multiple rootlets that are the central processes of pseudo-unipolar sensory neurons located in the spinal ganglion. The spinal nerve itself is short, just a few millimeters in length, and divides almost immediately after its formation into its anterior primary ramus and its posterior primary ramus. The spinal nerve, its two primary rami, and all distal branches of the primary rami are composed of both motor and sensory fibers and are mixed nerves.

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