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Spinous process of cervical vertebra ...

Other Terms: Processus spinosus, Processus spinosus vertebrae

Description

The spinous process of is different from the spines of other cervical vertebrae, more closely resembling the spinous process of the first thoracic vertebra. It is thick and projects dorsally in the horizontal plane. It is usually not bifurcated terminally, but forms a strong tubercle for attachment of the inferior end of the nuchal ligament. Because of its prominent dorsal projection, it is the first spine that is easily palpable.

Etymology

Spinous refers to spine, from the Latin spina meaning a thorn. The spines of the vertebrae formed the most palpable elements in this chain of bones leading to, as early as the 14th Century, the name spinal column or column of thorns. Since the spinal or vertebral column is a column of support, the term spine took on the secondary meaning of a column of support.

Latin

Processus spinosus vertebrae

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