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
  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.

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Article information

rID: 57340
System: Spine
Section: Radiography
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Alignment of cervical spine

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