Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them] | Chapter 15 On the Vertebrae of the Neck or Cervix

The number of processes.

These things being as they are, it escapes no one that not all the cervical vertebrae have the same number of processes. To avoid seeming here to have missed something, it would be necessary, if only for the sake of Galen, to count the processes of a neck vertebra in such a way that you would arrive at the number eleven: 121 this is the number of processes assigned to the neck vertebrae by Galen. 122 Take a third, fourth, fifth, or sixth neck vertebra (observe here fig. 8, whose numbers mark the processes in order), and count first the two processes on the superior part of the body, one on each side of the depression upon which the oblong body of the vertebra above it rests. Count as third and fourth the two ascending processes which go up to the vertebra above, and fifth and sixth the two descending by which the ascending processes of the vertebra below are received. You will then count the transverse processes seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth; since there is one of these on each side and they look like bifurcated twins, they make up four processes. The eleventh will be the posterior process itself, or spine. 123 But since the vertebrae having a double 124 transverse process on each side also bear a bifurcated spine 125 (c and ϖ in fig. 8), there is no reason why you should not see a twelfth here and increase Galen’s number. Likewise, because the oblong body of the vertebra (r in fig. 8 and z in fig. 9) is also extended like a process [uncus corporis] on its inferior surface, what will keep us from adding this also to the others as a thirteenth process? It is readily inferred without comment on my part that a different number of processes may be observed in the first, second, and seventh neck vertebrae, and that the number varies even in them.




Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them] | Chapter 15 On the Vertebrae of the Neck or Cervix