The vertebral column consists of around 33 vertebrae, separated by intervertebral discs. It acts to protect the spinal cord whilst also permitting movement and axial loading. Spinal nerves pass out laterally between each vertebrae at the intervertebral foramen. Each section’s vertebrae are also slightly different so as to adapt to their requirements in their respective region.
Many spinal problems are often dealt with by neurosurgeons, however orthopaedic surgeons can also deal with certain spinal problems, most common radiculopathy and degenerative disc disease. However, whilst learning about these, make sure to also look at the neurosurgical spinal pathologies for a complete spectrum of disease.