Coccygeal and sacral vertebrae

Complex structure of the human spine is necessaryto maintain equilibrium while walking and depreciation of each movement. Therefore, it consists of separate vertebrae, movably connected to each other and separated by intervertebral discs. But not all departments of the spine have such a structure. Sacral vertebrae are separated only in children and adolescents. Approximately to 18 years they join together, forming a solid bone. It is called a sacrum, and it has a special structure. This department is isolated separately, but sometimes combined with the lumbar and coccygeal, as they perform similar functions.

Anatomy of the spine

The spine of a person is a complex system,consisting of separate vertebrae, movably connected to each other with the help of joints of special structure and set of ligaments. To cushion movements when walking between the vertebrae, soft disks are placed. They protect these elements from destruction, and the brain from shaking. Such a structure provides a person's mobility, the ability to perform slopes, turns, and balance while walking.

The danger of such a complex structure is thatinside each vertebra passes the spinal canal, a lot of nerves and blood vessels. Therefore, it is so important to maintain the spine in the right position and protect it from injuries. The most common injuries are dislocations or displacement of vertebrae, disc herniation, deformation of tissues.

In the structure of the spine, five departments are distinguished:

  • cervical;
  • thoracic;
  • lumbar;
  • sacral;
  • coccygeal.

But because of the structural features of the lower sections of theirsometimes unite. When they say "vertebrae of the lumbosacral spine", often refer to the sacrum, and coccyx, and lower back. After all, they perform similar functions, and even illnesses and injuries are similar to them.

sacral vertebrae

Sacral spine

This is a special part of the human ridge.This department consists of five vertebrae. They have a complex structure and perform very important functions. The sacral vertebrae are connected movably only up to 14-15 years. After this age, they begin to gradually fuse. This process begins from below, at the point of connection with the coccyx. Finally, the sacrum turns into a single bone to 25 years. The sacral and coccygeal vertebrae in an adult person are triangles facing downward. This is the base of the spine, ensuring its connection with the pelvis and lower limbs.

vertebrae of sacral department

Structure of the sacrum

This department is the foundation of the spinerights. Therefore, the structure of the sacral vertebrae is slightly different from the rest. They have underdeveloped ribs and fused transverse processes. And in the upper part there are special ear-shaped surfaces necessary for connection with the pelvic bones. This joint is called the sacroiliac joint. Due to the fact that the sacrum is not as mobile as the rest of the spine, it does not have intervertebral discs. But there are a lot of very tight ligaments, which ensure the strength of the connection of bones.

In the sacral bone, the following parts are distinguished:

  • the pelvic part turned inwards;
  • dorsal, or posterior surface;
  • two lateral lateral parts;
  • wide base facing upwards;
  • Narrow vertex directed downward.
    5 sacral vertebra

Features of the sacral department

The sacrum is the backbone of the spine, the place of its connection with the lower part of the body. Because of this location and the functions performed, this department of the spine has several features:

  • it consists of five fused vertebrae;
  • this department takes over the entire weight of the spine;
  • the sacrum is a single bone in the form of a triangle directed with the point down;
  • there is not between the vertebrae of the discs;
  • the sacrum forms the posterior wall of the small pelvis;
  • it is fixed by strong ligaments attached to the pelvic ring;
  • the posterior surface of the sacrum is convex and has five vertical ridges, which are the overlying hillocks;
  • when combined with the lumbar vertebrae, the sacrum forms a special articulation, which is a large protrusion directed into the pelvic cavity;
  • 5, the sacral vertebra connects with the coccygeal region, forming a sacrococcygeal joint.
    vertebrae of lumbosacral spine

What are the functions of the sacral vertebrae

The sacrum takes over the entire weight of the body.It is designed to provide human stability during walking and a strong connection with the pelvic bones. In addition, a special structure of the sacral region is needed in order to protect the lower part of the spinal canal. To communicate with the pelvis and lower limbs, the vertebrae of the sacral section have several symmetrically located apertures. They include nerve fibers and blood vessels. The sacral canal runs along the entire length of the bone and is slightly bent due to the special structure of the sacrum.

So, all the sacral vertebrae have grown together.About the fact that they once were separate, resemble five ridges, passing along the back surface of the sacrum. These are small tubercles, arising from the fusion of the vertebrae, their spinous, transverse processes, as well as the upper and lower articular processes. This structure provides protection of nerve roots and vessels.

fracture of sacral vertebrae

Features of the coccygeal department

The coccyx is even more interesting.It consists of 3-5 vertebrae, but underdeveloped and fully fused together. In shape, the coccyx resembles the beak of a bird. Its peculiarity is that in men it connects with the sacrum completely motionless. And women can deviate back so that during childbirth they can provide the child with a passage through the birth canal. The coccygeal vertebrae also perform important functions. In addition to being the backbone of the spine and providing support for movement and slopes, many nerve roots to the pelvic organs and lower extremities pass here.

dislocation of the sacral vertebra

Damage in the sacral department

Despite the strength of the sacrum, as well asits fixed position between the pelvic ring, this department is also prone to injuries and injuries. Movable joints here are located only at the junction of the 1st sacral vertebra with the 5th lumbar vertebra, and also where the remaining lateral processes connect to the pelvic bones. It is in these places that injuries occur most often. In the department itself, only bruises or fractures of the sacral vertebrae are possible.

Because of the peculiarities of the structure in the region of the sacrum,there are the most common injuries that occur in other parts of the spine. Since there are no intervertebral discs, there are no diagnoses such as "hernia" or "discogenic radiculitis of the sacral department." It is also impossible to shift the sacral vertebra in adults, since these elements are firmly fused. And in children this happens very rarely because of the special strength of the ligaments and the protection of the sacrum with pelvic bones.

sacral and coccygeal vertebrae

Causes of damage to the sacrum

Why, then, is the sacrum prone to injury? This can be explained by several reasons:

  • congenital pathologies of the structure of the spine;
  • when the pelvic organs increase, the vessels coming out of the sacral canal are squeezed, which leads to venous stasis;
  • with increased load on the sacrum, the capsule of the joint may increase in size, as a result, edema develops, and the tissues begin to squeeze the nerve roots.

These pathologies can lead to eating disordersbone tissue and their increased brittleness. But most often the fractures of the sacrum occur when exposed to a large force, for example, in road accidents, falls from a height, strong impacts.

Features of injuries of the sacrum

The main feature of damage to this departmentspine is that a person even with a fracture of the sacrum can move. Very strong ligaments connecting the sacrum to the pelvic bones help to maintain the stability of the body. But since it is still part of the spine, the increased activity of the injured person during trauma can lead to damage to the spinal cord, rupture of vessels or nerve roots. Consequences of such an attitude may be violations of urination, complications of pelvic organs, paralysis of the lower extremities. If the young woman had a fracture, and she was not provided with timely medical assistance, she could not later give birth to her child.

What to do if the sacral vertebrae are damaged

After any injury, especially if there is suspicionat the fracture of the sacrum, it is necessary to contact a medical institution. Independently before the professional help can be applied to the site of damage to the cold, and with severe pain take an anesthetic. It is not recommended to warm the site of the injury, as this will aggravate edema and inflammation, may lead to bleeding and other complications. It is better for the victim to lie on a flat surface and try not to move.