Q:

What are the openings that provide exits for spinal nerves?

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Quick Answer

Spinal nerves emerge from the spinal column through the intervertebral foramen of the vertebrae, according to Neuroscience Online. The human spinal cord is divided into 31 segments with nerve pairs forming at each segment. The spinal cord exits the skull through the foramen magnum and is housed by the vertebral column.

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Full Answer

Spinal nerves are part of the peripheral nervous system, carrying motor, sensory and autonomic signals between the spinal cord and the body, explains the University of New Mexico. At every spinal segment, a cluster of motor nerve rootlets branch out from the ventral side of the spinal cord. These nerve rootlets combine to form a ventral root.

On the dorsal side of the spinal cord, a cluster of sensory nerve rootlets emerge and combine to form a dorsal root, according to the University of New Mexico. The ventral and dorsal roots combine to form spinal nerves. The 62 total spinal nerves exit the spinal column through the left and right intervertebral foramen of each corresponding vertebrae.

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