QS Study

The vertebral canal or spinal canal is the cavity within the vertebral column which contains the spinal cord. This canal is the long tubular space in the vertebral column formed by contiguous placement of vertebral foramen through which the spinal cord passes along with other contents. This canal contains spinal cord which is surrounded by its meninges.

Clinical anatomy of the Vertebral Canal –

(1) Compression of the spinal cord (e. g., by a tumor, gives rise to paraplegia or quadriplegia. depending on the level of compression. This spinal column provides the main support for your body, allowing you to stand upright, bend, and twist while protecting the spinal cord from injury.

Clinical anatomy of the Vertebral Canal 1

Fig: Clinical anatomy of the Vertebral Canal

(2) Spinal tumors may arise from dura mater (meningioma), glial cells (glioma), nerve roots (neurofibroma), ependyma (ependymoma), and other tissues. Apart from compression of the spinal cord, the tumor causes obstruction of the subarachnoid space so that pressure of CSF is low below the level of lesion. Froin’s syndrome is seen. Queckenstedt’s test does not show a sudden rise and a sudden fall of CSF pressure by coughing or by brief pressure over the jugular veins. The spinal block can be confirmed by myelography. In the intervertebral spaces, the canal is protected by the ligament flavum posteriorly and the posterior longitudinal ligament anteriorly.

(3) Compression of roots of spinal nerves may be caused by prolapse of an intervertebral disc, by osteophytes (formed in osteoarthritis), by a cervical rib, or by an extramedullary tumor. Such compression results in shooting pain along the distribution of the nerve. The canal itself is primarily formed by the vertebral foramen of adjacent vertebrae.

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