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                                   Lumbar Spine Anatomy
                          7 Cervical                                      (An Introduction)
              5           Vertebrae
                                                   The Bones                                                     Dura                                       Lumbar Disc
                                      The spine is made up from regions that
                                                                                                   Nerve in spinal canal                                    Nerve root
                                      contain vertebrae (blocks of bone) which
                                      are stacked on top of one another. The                           Cerebrospinal fluid                                    Pedicle
                                      lumbar spine is made up of 5 lumbar
         6                                                                                        Cauda Equina Nerves                                 Transverse Process
                                      vertebrae that are on top of the sacrum
         7                12 Thoracic
          8               Vertebrae and have the thoracic bones above which                                                                                 Facet Joint
                                      are supporting the ribs. Each Lumbar
                                      vertebra has specific features that you                                                                                 Lamina
                                      will hear discussed when you are talk-                                                                            Spinous process
                                      ing to your doctor. This to try and sim-
                                      plify these terms.                                                           Slice through lumbar vertebra and disc
                                                                                                                         through         ertebra
                                      The block of bone at the front between
                      2               the discs is called the vertebral body.                    The bone attached to the pedicle bridges across the back to form a
                      3     5 Lumbar Sticking out from the back are two                          circular ring. When the vertebra are stacked on top of one another
                            Vertebrae peices of bone called pedicles. Attached
                      4                                                                          these rings form a tube called the spinal canal. This contains the nerves
                                      to the pedicles are the other parts of the                 from the spinal cord (which stops at the top of the lumbar spine)
                  5                   lumbar vertebra.                                           called the cauda equina(looks like horses tail). These nerves are pro-
                                      To stop the vertebra rotating and slip-                    tected by the lining of dura around them and by cerebrospinal fluid
                                      ping forward are special joints called                     which bathes them. Every now and then a nerve leaves this and goes
                                      facet joints. In the pictures from the side                out through the foramen to go to supply the leg.
                                      and behind you can see how they do
                                      this.                                                                                  Spinous Process

    Fr ont                                                                                                        B ack   Transverse Process
                                                   Facet Joint                                                                Facet Joint
        Lumbar Disc                                                                                                 of
                                                                         S ide                                    Spine
                                                     Lamina                                                                     Lamina
        Nerve root                                                     Picture
                                                     Pedicle              of                                                     Sacrum
     Vertebral Body                                                     Spine
                                                Spinous process
   Nerve Root Foramen
   Transverse Process
                                                                                                                                The Disc
                                                               B ack                              It is made up of two components. An outer capsule (anulus fibrosis)
                                                                                                  and a soft centre (nucleus pulposus). The capsule(made from
                                                                                                  lamminated fibres) holds in the soft contents and this allows
When the Vertebra are stacked on top of one another you can see that                              movement of the vertebrae on one another. It can be likened to a
there is a space for a nerve to come out between the pedicles and                                 tube of toothpaste only the contents is much thicker and it is like
behind the disc. Each nerve is numbered by the pedicle it comes out                               soft rubber.
under (i.e. lumbar root 5[L5] comes out under the pedicle of the 5th
lumbar vertebra). Each nerve has a specific function in the control of                                               Disc cut in half
movement in the legs. The sacral nerves control bowel and bladder
function                                                                                          NE
                                                                                 O U R


                                                                                                                        Side of disc
                                                                             L B

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