The second cervical vertebra is called the axis. It is so-named because the uppermost cervical vertebra (called the atlas) rotates about the odontoid process of the second cervical vertebra. The joint between the axis and atlas is a pivot type of joint. It allows the head turn.
The Latin word “axis” means axle or pole. The axis bone serves as the axle about which the atlas (and the head) turn.
Cervical vertebrae; Coccygeal vertebrae; Lumbar vertebrae; Sacral vertebrae; and Thoracic vertebrae.
- Vertebrae, cervical
The cervical (neck) vertebrae are the upper 7 vertebrae in the spinal column (the vertebral column). They are designated C1 through C7 from the top down. C1 is called the atlas. It supports the head and is named for the Greek god Atlas who was condemned to support the earth and its heavens on his […]
- Vertebrae, coccygeal
The coccyx, the small tail-like bone at the bottom of the spine near the anus, is made up of 3-5 (average of 4) rudimentary vertebrae.
- Vertebrae, lumbar
There are 5 lumbar vertebrae. The lumbar vertebrae are situated between the thoracic vertebrae and the sacral vertebrae in the spinal column. The 5 lumbar vertebrae are represented by the symbols L1 through L5.
- Vertebrae, sacral
There are 5 sacral vertebral bones. They are represented by the symbols S1 through S5 and are situated between the lumbar vertebrae and the coccyx (the lowest segment of the vertebral column). The sacral vertebrae are normally fused to form the sacrum.