Uncinate process of the cervical spine

The uncinate process of the cervical spine is a hook-shaped process found bilaterally on the superolateral margin of the cervical vertebral bodies of C3-C7.

The uncinate processes are more anteriorly positioned in the upper cervical spine and more posteriorly location in the lower cervical spine.


  • uncovertebral or Luschka joint: joint between the uncinate process and the inferolateral portion of the vertebral body above (anvil or echancrure).


  • limit lateral flexion maintaining the integrity of the ipsilateral intervertebral foramen 3

  • maintain the position of the intervertebral discs during axial rotation 3

Variant anatomy

Uncinate processes are variably absent on C7 and have been found extending to T1 and T2 on occasion 4

Article information

rID: 59694
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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