Introduction to the Vertebral Column, Pelvis & Femur

acetabulum femur ilium innominate bone ischium lamina long bone pelvis pubis sacrum spine spinous process vertebral column

Vertebral Column, Pelvis, Femur Solihull Simon Evans Physiotherapy

The Vertebral Column

  • Made up of 33 vertebrae
  • Each one identified by a letter (denoting region ) and a number denoting its relative position (C1-7, T1-12, L1-5, S1-5, Co1-4/5)
  • Each pair are separated by an Intervertebral Disc (except C1 and C2) 

The Spine - Typical Vertebra

  • All vertebrae share some common characteristics (except C1/2)
    • Anterior – vertebral body
    • Posterior – vertebral arch
  • Note regional variations in the size and shape of the vertebral body
  • The vertebral arch is made up of :-
    • 2 pedicles – from posterior aspect of vertebral body
    • 2 lamina – arising from the pedicles
  • Spinous Process arises from the junction of the left and right lamina
  • Transverse and articular processes arise from the junction of each pedicle and lamina
  • Palpation of the spinous processes allows identification of anatomical levels

The Sacrum

  • 5 fused vertebra set at an angle 
  • Forms the base of the spine 
  • Articulates with the innominate bones to form the pelvis
  • The whole of the posterior surface of the sacrum can be palpated

The Pelvis

  • Bony ring formed by 3 bones – left & right innominate bones and the sacrum
  • Stable base for the spine – allows weight dissipation to both legs

The Innominate Bone

  • Formed by the fusion of 3 bones – Ilium, Ischium and Pubis
  • Each of the 3 bones contributes to the formation of the socket of the hip joint – the Acetabulum
  • Keys points of reference:
    • Iliac spines (4) (palpable)
    • Iliac crest (palpable)
    • Auricular surface
    • Ischial spine
    • Ischial tuberosity (palpable)
    • Greater and lesser sciatic notches
    • Body of pubis (palpable)
    • Obturator foramen

The Femur

  • Typical long bone
  • Key points to note on upper end:
    • Head
    • Neck
    • Greater (palpable) and lesser trochanter
    • Intertrochanteric line (anterior)
    • Intertrochanteric crest (posterior)
  • Also note:
    • Shaft and linea aspera
    • Medial & lateral condyles (palpable)
    • Medial & lateral epicondyles (palpable)
    • Intercondylar area
    • Adductor tubercle (palpable)
    • More bony points will be described as the joints and muscles are covered in more detail

See More Articles on the Human Anatomy - Click HereVertebral Column, Pelvis, Femur Solihull Simon Evans Physiotherapy

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