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In Vivo 3-D Cervical Spine Kinematics Demonstrated

Last Updated: May 19, 2011.

In vivo three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging kinematics of the cervical spine during head rotation identifies differences in cervical motion between patients with cervical spondylosis and healthy controls, according to a study published in the May 1 issue of Spine.

THURSDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- In vivo three-dimensional (3-D) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) kinematics of the cervical spine during head rotation identifies differences in cervical motion between patients with cervical spondylosis and healthy controls, according to a study published in the May 1 issue of Spine.

Yukitaka Nagamoto, M.D., from the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, and colleagues attempted to demonstrate 3-D kinematics of the spondylotic cervical spine during in vivo head rotation in 10 healthy volunteers (control group) and 15 patients with cervical spondylosis (CS group). Participants underwent 3-D MRI of the cervical spine with the head rotated in neutral, ±45 degrees, and ±maximal head rotation. The segmented 3-D MRI of the vertebra in the neutral position was superimposed over images of each position using volume registration to calculate the relative motions of the cervical spine. Euler angles and translations on the coordinate system were used to calculate 3-D motions of adjacent vertebra with 6 degrees of freedom.

The investigators found that both groups had the same patterns of coupled motions. Compared to controls, the CS group exhibited a significant decrease in the mean axial rotation and mean coupled lateral bending between C5-C6 and C6-C7. A significant increase in the mean coupled lateral bending was seen at C2-C3 and C3-C4.

"Although almost the same coupling patterns were observed in both groups, significant hypomobility in axial and lateral directions at the lower cervical spine and significant hypermobility in lateral directions at the middle cervical spine were apparent in the spondylotic cervical spine," the authors write.

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