of the Back
Scroll down to view the different joints of the
back, or for direct viewing:
FIG. 1-1 : COSTOVERTEBRAL
joint occurs between the ribs and the vertebrae. It is a synovial plane
joint. The costovertebral joint has 2 components that articulate with the vertebral
column: the heads of the ribs and the costotransverse joint. The head of each
rib articulates with the superior facet of the same vertebral body and the inferior
facet of the superior vertebrae, along with the intervertebral disc that is
in between. There are 2 ligaments that help connect and support this part of
the joint, which are the radiate and intra-articular ligaments. The costotransverse
joint is the articulation of the tubercle and the transverse process of the
same vertebrae. The ligaments that strengthen this joint are the lateral and
superior costotransverse ligaments.
1-2 : ZYGAPOPHYSEAL JOINT (back to top)
joints (facet joints) form the articulations between the inferior articular
process of a vertebrae with the superior process of the adjacent vertebrae.
These joints allow gliding movements between the vertebrae. The anterior longitudinal
ligament runs along the anterolateral portions of the vertebral bodies and helps
to prevent hyperextension. The posterior longitudinal ligament runs along the
posterior aspect of the vertebral body and helps to prevent hyperflexion and
herination of the intervertebral discs. The yellowish band of tissue that connects
adjacent lamina is called the ligamenta flava. This ligament prevents separation
of the lamina, which further protects the intervertebral discs.
FIG. 1-3 : INTERVERTEBRAL
joint is formed by the intervertebral disc (IV) and the 2 adjacent vertebral
bodies. These joints were designed to support the weight of the body. The purpose
of the IV disc is to act as a shock absorber for the vertebral column. The IV
disc is composed of the anulus fibrosus and the nucleus pulposus. The anulus
fibrosus consists of a fibrocartilagous rings that sourround the nucleus. The
nucleus pulposus is composed of a gelatin material and has a high water content.
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This page created by Don Martin,
Elizabeth Taibe, Katie Jablonski. ©
2003, Stephen P. Lahr
The text has been adapted from Grant's Dissector
12th edition, 1999 and Moore's Clinically Oriented Anatomy 4th edition, 1999.
Maintained by Stephen Lahr. Last updated: 3/27/03