Cervical Anatomy and Pathology - Degenerated Cervical Spine

Severely Degenerated Lower Cervical Spine 64 Year Old Man





Sagittal Closeup Section through the level of the lateral recess of a severely degenerated lower cervical spine
Sagittal close–up section through the level of the lateral recess of a severely degenerated lower cervical spine of a completely asymptomatic 64–year–old woman. The vertebra in the center is C5. Both adjacent discs are degenerated with a roughly 50% decrease in height and internal disruption of the annulus fibrosus and absence of a nucleus pulposus. At C4–C5 the disc height reduction is more pronounced and small spondylosis endplate osteophytes are seen anteriorly and posteriorly. Behind the disc the root sleeve traverses the lateral recess, there is no compression of the root sleeve which carries cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the nerve roots, the epidural veins are wide and patent. At C5–C6 there is an extruded disc. This teardrop–shaped fragment completely obliterates the lateral recess and compresses the root sleeve (also emptying its CSF content) and also displaces the root inferiorly. While it is questionable whether the disc fragment still is contained posteriorly, it still is in continuity with the substance of the disc anteriorly. The upper portion of the herniated disc has dissected its way underneath the periosteum of the vertebra above. There also is a slight infolding of the liagamentum flavum.


©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: 11/02/16

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