The Spine Is a Complex Neural Structure, Not a Bone

Spine is not a bunch of bones. It is instead a complex channel of nerves that ferry millions of signals between body and the brain. Bones serve the function of mere protection, apart from providing stability to stand. They protect the spine just like the ribs protect the heart and the skull protects the brain. Ever since humans began to walk on their legsthe dynamics of the spine have undergone several suitable modifications. The intervening discs and the surrounding strong muscles facilitate mobility and stability.

All these structures are prone to wear and tear causing degeneration which in turn disturbs the nerve function. These nerves exit at different levels to supply various parts of the body (motor nerves), while the counterparts provide feedback (sensory nerves) respectively.

The spinal cord as such is a very delicate structure that carries all the connecting nerves from the 20 billion neurons and trillions of body receptors. In addition fibers from the autonomic nervous system (sympathetic and parasympathetic) that control lungs, heart, blood vessels, gut, bladder, and sexual organs are also located within. The blood supply to this entire cable is very critical as its ability to endure insults of any kind is poor even compared to the brain. Hence handling these nerves is a challenge-it is an art. So, spinal operations are not that simple. It demands highly specialized training.

Surgery of the spine should never be attempted without adequate training and expertise. This can avoid a number of complications. The younger the spine the more complex it is. One has to consider the growth dynamics in these surgeries. Unfortunately, in general, perception spine is misunderstood for bone. This is a HUGE and very DANGEROUS conception and can lead to serious and even crippling complications. If the spine doesn’t work the brain’s functions become ineffective that’s why the aphorism “he is spineless”.

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