Adult humans have about 24 vertebrae. Children are born with about 33 vertebrae, but as they grow, some of the bones fuse together. Vertebrae are the bones that make up the spinal column.
A vertebra is made up of a central body with two bony projections on each side called pedicles. These pedicles join with laminae to create an arch that encloses an opening called the vertebral foramen. The spinal cord, a bundle of nerve fibers, passes through the vertebral foramen. There are also seven processes that extend from the vertebrae. Spongy disks located between each vertebra separates one vertebra from the next.