Cervical Anatomy and Pathology - Axial Section C5-C6

Axial section of C5-C6 of a normal cervical spine

Axial section through C5-C6 of a normal cervical spine
Axial section through C5–C6 of a normal cervical spine that was frozen in situ in moderate flexion. The obliquity of the articular facets induces an antero–listhesis of C5 on C6 that widens the sagittal diameter of the spinal canal and the "neuroforamina". The thecal sac, root sleeves and vertebral arteries are surrounded by a large sinusoid venous compartment. The almost round thecal sac is bordered posteriorly by the interlaminar ligamentum flavum that is stretched and hence thinner than normal. Anteriorly the dura is firmly affixed to the posterior longitudinal ligament which "fans out" as it approaches the endplates and the disc, firmly affixing the dura anteriorly at each disc level. Flexion causes the spinal cord to move anteriorly in the thecal sac. The distraction of the articular processes markedly widens the intervertebral foramina, which are long osseoligamentous tunnels that rather should be referred to as root canals. Variable root tension in various postures and the denticulate ligament control the movements of the spinal cord. Note the anterior and posterior spinal arteries and veins on the surface of the spinal cord.

©2000 Wolfgang Rauschning, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Clinical Anatomy
Academic University Hospital
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Uppsala, Sweden
Reproduction without permission is prohibited
Updated on: 02/01/10

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