- Uncovertebral joints aka Luschka joints
- From C2-3 to C6-7
- C3 to C7 vertebral bodies have on the lateral aspect superior projections called uncinate processes that articulate with the next higher vertebra
- Evolves with age
- Joint permits flexion and extension, restricts lateral motion. Also prevents lateral/foraminal disc protrusions
- Osteophytes can form on uncinate process with age due to uncovertebral arthrosis
- Uncovertebral arthrosis causes both intervertebral and transverse foraminal narrowing
- Foraminal narrowing in cervical spine is caused by uncovertebral osteophytic spurs > facet joint degeneration > herniated disc
- Plain radiograph: seen in AP and oblique. Oblique views helps assess foraminal narrowing
- CT: best for seeing uncinate spurs
- MRI: useful if suspecting foraminal disc herniation
Skalski, Matthew R., George R. Matcuk Jr, and Wende N. Gibbs. “The art of interpreting cervical spine radiographs.” RadioGraphics 39.3 (2019): 820-821.
Resnick, Donald. “Degenerative diseases of the vertebral column.” Radiology 156.1 (1985): 3-14.