Medical Definition of Cervical vertebra, second
Cervical vertebra, second: 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.Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
Last Editorial Review: 7/1/2016
Medical Dictionary Definitions A - Z
Search Medical Dictionary
Back Pain Resources
- Low Back Pain? It Could Be Your SI Joint
- Are You Ready for Back Surgery?
- How Well Are You Living With AS?