Anatomy and physiology of the vertebral canal

Ian Parkin and Alastair Chambers

in Principles and Practice of Regional Anaesthesia

Fourth edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199586691
Published online November 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191755507 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks in Anaesthesia

Anatomy and physiology of the vertebral canal

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This chapter covers the anatomy and physiology of the vertebral canal. It begins with a description of the vertebral column, including its function and regions. The general features of vertebrae are described, along with those of the cervical vertebrae, thoracic vertebrae, lumbar vertebrae, and the sacrum and sacral canal. Variations in the bony anatomy of the spine (vertebral anomalies) are of particular interest because they may make the performance of spinal or epidural block difficult or impossible. Common anomalies are covered. The individual vertebrae articulate with each other through the column of bodies and intervertebral discs. Additionally, the neural arches articulate through the superior and inferior processes on each side at the zygapophysial joints. The chapter covers the ligaments of the vertebral bodies, and also the ligaments of the neural arches, spines, and transverse processes. There is information on the intervertebral discs and the vertebral canal, including the meninges and dural sac, subarachnoid space and spinal cord, spinal cord blood supply, and epidural space. Finally the physiology of the vertebral canal is discussed, including the cerebrospinal fluid and epidural pressure.

Chapter.  8314 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anaesthetics ; Preclinical Medicine

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