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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 9-14

Morphometric analysis of the cervical facets and the feasibility, safety, and effectiveness of Goel inter-facet spacer distraction technique

Department of Neurosurgery, K.E.M. Hospital and Seth G.S. Medical College, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Abhidha Shah
Department of Neurosurgery, K.E.M. Hospital and Seth G.S. Medical College, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-8237.135208

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Aim: Quantitative anatomy of the facets of the sub-axial cervical spine was performed. The purpose of the evaluation was to determine the feasibility of insertion of Goel inter-facetal articular spacers in the sub-axial cervical spine. Only few studies detailing the morphometry of the facets are available in the literature. Materials and Methods: Ten cervical vertebrae from C3 to C7 with a total of 20 facets were evaluated by the author. The anatomic parameters studied were the height, width, thickness, shape, orientation, and inclination of each of the superior and inferior facets. The alterations in a number of intervertebral segmental distances were measured before and after spacer insertion. The distance of the inferior facet from the foramen tranversarium, spinal canal, and neural foramina was measured to assess safety of spacer insertion with respect to the vertebral artery and neural structures. Results: The height, width and thickness of the superior facets from C3 to C7 ranged from 6 to 12 mm, 8 to 12 mm, and 2.5 to 6 mm, respectively. The inferior facets had an average height of 10.5 mm, average width of 11.2 mm and average thickness of 3.5 mm. The inclination of the superior facets with respect to the transverse plane ranged from 22° to 45° and that of the inferior facets ranged from 29° to 53°. The distance of the anterior margin of the inferior facet from the posterior border of the foramen transversium ranged from 5 to 7 mm. This distance was maximum at C3 level, then decreased at C4 and remained constant from C5 to C7. Conclusion: This anatomic evaluation aided in understanding the morphology of the cervical facets and the suitability of the cervical facetal articular cavity for insertion of spacers.

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