IAN WHITTAKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY IAN WHITTAKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration showing, at right, the human spine, with the lumbar vertebrae & sacrum enlarged on the left to show the spinal nerves (in yellow). Each nerve comprises two roots (bundles of nerve fibres), an anterior one, carrying motor nerve fibres and a posterior one, carrying sensory fibres. The roots leave the spinal cord, pass through openings in the vertebrae and are distributed to the body. The lumbar plexus (nerve network) is composed of nerves from the first four lumbar nerve roots (counting from the top); the sacral plexus is made up of nerves from the fourth and fifth lumbar nerves and the first, second, third and part of the fourth sacral nerves.
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