Uncovertebral joints, also called Luschka’s joints, are seen bilaterally between adjacent cervical vertebrae, identified by the cat ear shaped uncinate processes of the C3-7 vertebrae (C1 and C2 have no uncinate processes).
The articulation forms between the uncinate processes bilaterally with the corresponding inferior shallow concavity of the vertebra above. The uncinate processes arise as lips curving superiorly from the lateral borders of the vertebral body. This articulation forms the anterior border of the intervertebral foramen. It lies medial to the vertebral artery and spinal nerve roots.
No named ligaments
- rarely seen between C7-T1
- provides stability and mobility during cervical spine movement by limiting lateral movements of the cervical vertebrae
- the vertebral artery and spinal nerve roots may be compromised due to osteophyte formation. Resection of the uncovertebral joint and associated osteophytes may decompress acquired impingement.
- when oedematous, may precipitate torticollis
- bilateral resection may be performed if an artificial cervical disc is inserted
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