Cervical Vertebrae Overview
||Superior view of two cervical vertebrae...
There are 24 vertebrae in the spine; the first seven (C1-C7) are cervical (cervix="neck").
The next 12 are the thoracic vertebrae which articulate with the 12 pairs of ribs.
The last 5 vertebrae are the lumbar vertebrae.
Only the cervical vertebrae have three foramina - one vertebral and two transverse foramina.
Note the bifid spinous process on the vertebra on the left which is characteristic of C2 through C6.
The vertebra on the right (C7) has a prominent nonbifid spinous process that can be felt at the base of the neck. This last cervical vertebra is also called "vertebra prominens".
Inferior view of two cervical vertebrae...