The Swischuk line is helpful in differentiating pathological anterior displacement of the cervical spine from physiological displacement, termed pseudosubluxation.
- the line is drawn from anterior aspect of posterior arch of C1 to anterior aspect of posterior arch of C3
- the anterior aspect of posterior arch of C2 should be within 1-2 mm of this line:
- if deviated less than 2 mm: it is consistent with pseudosubluxation, but this alone is insufficient to rule out a hangman fracture
- if deviated more than 2 mm: it is indicative of true subluxation
History and etymology
Named after Leonard Swischuk: American (US) radiologist 1 and prominent paediatric radiologist.