Orthopedics Book

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Cervical Spine Anatomy

Aka: Cervical Spine Anatomy, C-Spine Anatomy, Spine Anatomy, Vertebral Anatomy
  1. See Also
    1. Lumbar Spine Anatomy
  2. Images
    1. NeckLateralMuscles.jpg
  3. Anatomy: Seven Cervical Vertebrae
    1. Level C1: Atlas
    2. Level C2: Axis with Dens and Odontoid process
    3. Level C7: Vertebra prominens
      1. Spinous process long and prominent
  4. Anatomy: Vertebral Landmarks
    1. Anterior
      1. Anterior longitudinal ligament
      2. Vertebral Body
    2. Middle
      1. Pedicle
      2. Transverse Process
      3. Articular facet
    3. Posterior
      1. Posterior longitudinal ligament
      2. Lamina
      3. Spinous process
  5. Anatomy: Disc
    1. Nucleus pulposus
      1. Inner gelatinous core
      2. High water content
      3. Desiccates with age losing cushioning over time
    2. Anulus fibrosis
      1. Outer fibrous ring encases nucleus pulposus
  6. Ligaments
    1. Anterior Support
      1. Anterior Longitudinal ligament (anterior to body)
      2. Posterior Longitudinal Ligament (posterior to body)
        1. Weak laterally
        2. Allows for lateral disc herniation
    2. Posterior Support
      1. Ligamentum Flavum (binds laminae)
      2. Nuchal ligament (binds spinous processes): Strong
      3. Interspinous Lig. (binds spinous processes): Strong
    3. Capsular Ligament
      1. Binds articular joint
      2. Weak and lax
  7. Nerve Course
    1. Nerve exits above vertebra
      1. Nerve C5-6 exits above C6 vertebrae
    2. Nerves C5 and C6 most commonly impinged (90%)
    3. Exit sites
      1. Foramen between pedicles
      2. Apophyseal joint posterolaterally
      3. Joint of Luschka anteromedially

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