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

Connections of the vertebrae in the elderly.

In the elderly, however, not only is the connection of epiphyses abolished, 128 but the vertebral bodies, normally separated some distance by the intervention of cartilaginous ligament [discus intervertebralis], also so come together that sometimes three or four vertebrae fuse—you can see them dug up together in cemeteries—and they are impossible to separate. This fusion is effected by certain processes which the body of a single vertebra puts forth from its outer surface into another. I believe nobody doubts that this fusion is the reason why old people do not move their backs, do not straighten their backs, and are more bent over. It is particularly clear if one has occasion to examine the vertebrae of a hunchbacked person and see how curved they are and tenaciously united at their bodies. But in addition to these, difficult motion in the aged is aggravated by a curious roughness of the brows of the bones and by tubercles which prevent the heads from being moved in their sockets. Finally, a pronounced hardness of the ligaments readily prevents the vertebrae from being easily moved. 129



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