Vertebral Column (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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    00:01 Now, let's take a look at that column.

    00:02 This is like the best jenga set ever, right, cuz it's 33 bones called vertebra, they're stacked one on top of each other and you can see how they uniquely fit together.

    00:12 Now, between them you have some intervertebral discs and these are what hold them together and kind of help the movement of our backbone.

    00:19 So take a look at our drawing. You see the spinal cord, it's kind of in gold there.

    00:24 Now, we've labeled the vertebra for you so you can see the three that we have there but what I want you to pay attention to right now is the intervertebral disc.

    00:33 when one says, "Oh, I have a slipped discs or pinched disc --" that's what they're taking about, that's part of the cushion, that's part of what helps our spine be very mobile.

    00:43 When that disc breaks down the patient usually experiences pain because look what now we have next to those discs, you see the spinal nerves.

    00:53 So the vertebral column has some small spaces through which the spinal nerves exit the spinal cavity and spread throughout the rest of the body, so those discs are very important, so you as a nurse, you need to take particular care of your back.

    01:08 We lift and move and shift the patients but you need to be meticulous about taking care in protecting your back.

    01:15 All hospitals have a lifting equipment.

    01:19 Always take the extra time to use that equipment for your own safety and for the patient's safety.

    01:26 So, this vertebral column has how many bones? Sweet, 33, between them are the discs and we need those to stay healthy in any appropriate spot and we also know that we have these spinal nerves that exit through the spinal cavity and spread throughout the rest of the body.

    01:42 Okay, this, I love this drawing. It's a great summary drawing.

    01:48 Look, we have let's start from the bottom.

    01:50 Dura mater, arachnoid and pia mater, remember we said it, PAD your brain, just like in the spinal cord -- you'll have the pia mater, the meninge; the arachnoid; and the dura mater those are the meninge, those tough, thick surroundings.

    02:05 Now, let's go back up to the top.

    02:07 You've got the white mater and you've got gray mater and we break the gray mater down for you as posterior and anterior, the dorsal horn and the ventral horn.

    02:17 To me, it always looks like a butterfly but we call that posterior horn and anterior horn.

    02:24 Now we've got the dorsal root and the ventral root, so what are those? Yeah, those are the nerves exiting that we just talked about.

    02:32 One last thing that I wanna draw your attention to --dead center in the middle is a central canal, that's an opening that some of the cerebrospinal fluid will drain through.

    02:42 Okay, so this is the vertebral column; spinal cord in the middle.

    02:48 You got gray mater and white mater.

    02:50 Then you see that we have the meninges, the pia, arachnoid, and dura.

    02:55 We got the central canal right down the middle and the roots, dorsal and ventral of the nerves coming out.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Vertebral Column (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN is from the course Spinal Cord Injuries and Syndromes (Nursing) .

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Intervertebral discs
    2. Spinal cord
    3. Spinal nerves
    4. Vertebra
    1. Dura mater
    2. Black matter
    3. Arachnoid
    4. Pia mater
    5. White matter

    Author of lecture Vertebral Column (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

    Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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