Cervical Spine Deformity

Indications, Considerations, and Surgical Outcomes

Samuel K. Cho, MD; Scott Safir, MD; Joseph M. Lombardi, MD; Jun S. Kim, MD


J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2019;27(12):e555-e567. 

In This Article


Normal cervical lordosis is between 10° and 20° with an average of 14.4° (as measured by C2-C7 angle). Preservation of sagittal balance requires intact anterior and posterior structures. Anteriorly, the VB and intervertebral disks resist compression. Posteriorly, the facet joints, posterior CS musculature, and interspinous ligaments act as a tension band. When the integrity of the posterior or anterior structures is compromised and kyphosis is present, deformity is more than likely to progress. Ultimately, the spinal cord may become draped and tensioned over the posterior aspects of the VB, thereby compromising vascular supply. In this setting, myelopathic symptoms may develop in patients, which can lead to stepwise and potentially irreversible neurologic injury.