Cervical spine alignment

When assessing cervical spine alignment, look for four parallel lines connecting structures in the cervical spine:

  1. anterior vertebral line: anterior margin of the vertebral bodies
  2. posterior vertebral line: posterior margin of the vertebral bodies (also known as George's line)
  3. spinolaminar line: posterior margin of the spinal canal
  4. posterior spinous line: tips of the spinous processes

These lines should follow a slightly lordotic curve, smooth and without step-offs. Any malalignment should be considered evidence of bony or ligamentous injury.

Article information

rID: 57340
System: Spine
Sections: Anatomy, Radiography
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Alignment of cervical spine

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewers/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: all lines
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 1: all lines
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 3: posterior vertebral line
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 4: spinolaminar line
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 5: posterior spinous line
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 2: anterior vertebral line
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.