Functional diagnostics of the cervical spine using computer tomography

Neuroradiology. 1988;30(2):132-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00395614.


35 healthy adults and 137 patients after cervical spine injury were examined by functional CT. The range of axial rotation at the level occiput/atlas, atlas/axis and the segment below were measured in all subjects. A rotation occiput/atlas of more than 7 degrees, and C1/C2 more than 54 degrees could indicate segmental hypermobility, a rotation at the segment C1/C2 less than 29 degrees to hypomobility. According to the postulated normal values based upon a 98% confidence level, out of 137 patients examined after cervical spine injury and with therapy-resistant neck pain, 45 showed signs of segmental hypermobility of the upper cervical spine, 17 showed hyper- or hypomobility at different levels, 10 patients presented segmental hypomobility at C1/C2 level alone. In all patients, according to the clinical assessment, functional pathology was suspected in the upper cervical spine. Surgical correction of rotary instability should be considered as a possible therapeutic procedure after successful diagnostic stabilisation of the cervical spine by minerva cast.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cervical Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Cervical Vertebrae / injuries*
  • Cervical Vertebrae / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*