How the Spine Works
The spine has 25 joints connecting with 33 individual bones (vertebrae) and is basically made up of 5 main segments:
- The neck or cervical vertebrae, which supports the skull
- The chest or thoracic vertebrae, which is connected to the ribs
- The lumbar vertebrae
- The bottom 4 bones of the spine that are fused together to form the tailbone (coccyx)
- And the 5 bones above the tailbone that are fused together to form the sacrum, all caged within the bones of the pelvis
Each bone in the spine is called a vertebra. The vertebrae are kept separate by disks of cartilage and the cartilage prevents the vertebrae in the spine from wearing against each other. The interconnected series of deep muscles and ligaments keeps the spine supported.
The information below highlights some of the most common back procedures our surgeons perform.