The anatomy of the spine
The human spine, also known as the vertebral column or spinal column, is a complex structure that provides both support and mobility for the body. It serves as the main structural support, allowing us to stand upright, bend, and twist. The spine is composed of 33 individual bones stacked one on top of the other called vertebrae. These are classified into five regions: the cervical (7 vertebrae), thoracic (12 vertebrae), lumbar (5 vertebrae), sacral (5 fused vertebrae), and coccygeal (4 fused vertebrae) regions.
Between each vertebra are intervertebral discs, which are made of a gel-like substance surrounded by a tough outer layer. These discs act as shock absorbers and allow for flexibility in the spine. Ligaments and muscles are attached to the vertebrae, providing stability and movement. The spinal cord, a part of the central nervous system, runs through the central canal of the vertebrae, transmitting information between the brain and the rest of the body. The spinal nerves exit the spinal cord between the vertebrae, connecting the central nervous system to organs, muscles, and other tissues. Any disruption to the structure or function of the spine can lead to various conditions and disorders, impacting a person’s mobility and overall well-being.
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If you or a loved has back and or leg pain, contact Chicago spine surgeon Dr. Kern Singh who can assess your situation, provide an accurate diagnosis and guide you on the most suitable treatment options.
Dr. Kern Singh, MD is an internationally renowned spine surgeon specializing in outpatient minimally invasive and motion-preserving techniques and endoscopic spine surgery at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush and Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Kern is one of the nation’s Top 100 spine surgeons and beloved by his patients for his compassionate care and excellent outcomes. He welcomes nationally and internationally-based patients.
At A Glance
Dr. Kern Singh
- Minimally invasive and endoscopic spine surgeon
- Inventor and surgeon innovator with multiple patents in spinal surgery and instrumentation
- Author of more than 10 textbooks in minimally invasive spinal surgery
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