The section devoted to the Articulations or Joints deals with the union of the various and dissimilar parts of the human skeleton. The followiing structures enter into the formation of joints. Bones constitute the basis of most joints. The long bones articulate by their ends, the flat by their edges, and the short at various parts on their surfaces. The articular ends are usually expanded, and are composed of cancellous tissue, surrounded by a dense and strong shell of compact tissue.
There are two distinct sets of articulations in the vertebral column:
Those between the bodies and intervertebral discs which form synchondroses and which are amphiarthrodial as regards movement.
Those between the articular processes which form arthrodial joints.
The ligaments which unite the various parts may also be divided into two sets, viz. - immediate, or those that bind together parts which are in contact; and intermediate, or those that bind together parts which are not in contact.
As in the intervertebral articulations, so in the union of the first portion of the sacrum with the last lumbar vertebra, there are two sets of joints -viz. (a) Class. -False Synchondrosis. (b) Class. -Diarthrosis. Subdivision. -Arihrodia (a) a synchondrosis, between the bodies and intervertebral disc; and (b) a pair of arthrodial joints, between the articular processes. The union is effected by the following ligaments, which are common to the vertebral column: -(i) anterior, and (ii) posterior longitudinal; (iii) lateral or short vertebral; (iv) capsular; (v) ligamenta flava; (vi) supraspinous and (vii) interspinous ligaments. Two special accessory ligaments on either side, viz., the sacro-lumbar and the ilio-lumbar, connect the pelvis with the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae.
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