Image: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins http://lww.com
There are 33 vertebrae in total. There are 7 cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic vertebrae, 5 lumbar vertebrae, 5 fused vertebrae in the sacrum and a number (3-5) of vestigial vertebrae fused to make the coccyx.
Note the curvatures of the normal vertebral column on the diagram on the right. There is a gentle anterior convexity in the cervical and lumbar spine and a gentle posterior convexity in the thoracic and sacral regions.
Abnormalites of these curvatures may occur. An excessive anterior convexity is known as a 'lordosis'. An excessive posterior curvature is known as a 'kyphosis'. Deviation of the vertebral column away from the midline is known as a 'scoliosis'.