The spinal column spreads the body weight from the head to the pelvis and protects the spinal cord. It consists of bony vertebrae connected together by cartilage-like structures (discs) and ligaments (Figure 1).
The spine is subjected to wear and tear like all joints in the body, which changes the structure. Degeneration ofthe disc may cause it to bulge and compress the spinal cord or nerves.
These may include tumours of the spinal column or the spinal cord (Figure 2). Tumours may be primary (originating from the spine) or secondary (spread from other sites like the lung or breast).
Figure 2 Tumour compressing the spinal cord
Injuries to the spine are common in road traffic and diving accidents and falls from height.
脊柱将体重从头部分散到骨盆，并保护脊髓。脊柱由通过软骨样组织 (椎间盘) 连接在一起的骨性椎骨以及韧带组成(图1)。
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