What is the role of radiography in the diagnosis of cervical disc disease?

Updated: Apr 16, 2020
  • Author: Michael B Furman, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Dean H Hommer, MD  more...
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See the list below:

  • Plain cervical spine radiographs are used to evaluate chronic degenerative changes, metastatic disease, infection, spinal deformity, and stability.

  • Cervical spine trauma films use 7 views, including anteroposterior (AP), lateral, bilateral oblique, open-mouth, flexion, and extension.

  • Flexion-extension views identify subluxations or cervical spine instability.

  • Open-mouth views evaluate the odontoid process and C1-C2 stability.

  • AP views identify tumors, osteophytes, and fractures.

  • Lateral views assess stability and spondylosis (ie, spurring, disc space narrowing).

  • Oblique views reveal DDD, as well as foraminal encroachment by uncovertebral or Z-joint osteophytes.

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