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1. The C3-L5 vertebrae typically have 3 primary ossification centers that start appearing at 9 weeks in utero and finish primary ossification by one year - the centrum + right, left halves of the neural arch.

2. The C3-L5 vertebrae have 5 secondary ossification centers that start at puberty and finish ossification by 25-30 years of age - 1 spinous process + 2 transverse processes + 2 annular epiphyses at the upper and lower surfaces of the vertebral bodies.

3. C1 has 3 primary ossification centers. C2 has 5 primary ossification centers.

4. C1 has no secondary ossification centers. C2 has 1 center at the tip of the dens, if this fails, leads to os odontoideum.


1. Mcminn. (2003). Last's Anatomy. Elsevier Australia. ISBN:0729537528. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
2. Netter, F. H. (2019). Atlas of human anatomy. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
3. Image: no reference available.

Ⓒ A. Manickam 2018

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