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Cervical - definition

Cervical "ser-vie-cal"

The spine is divided up into 5 different sections; cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacram and coccyx. The basic arrangement of structures is largely unchanged between segments but there are important differences between the levels.

What is the relevance to CSM?

CSM, as the name suggests, is a disease process affecting the neck i.e. the cervical portion of the spine.

The level of the spine is important, as it controls the body from the toes up to that level. So for example the lumbar spine controls leg function but has nothing to do with arm function. However the cervical spine is important for both hand and leg function.

The Anatomy of the Spine

This is a normal MRI scan of the cervical spine, viewed from the side. Case courtesy of A.Prof Frank Gaillard, From the case rID: 35630