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Benazzo Francesco; Alvarez, Alberto Araujo; Nalli, Darcio; Pio, Alberto; Filho, Jose Laredo
Journal of Spinal Disorders: April 1994
Original Articles: PDF Only


Twenty-one cervical spines were collected from fresh cadavers (12 male, nine female), their ages ranging from 10 to 90 years (mean 49.47). After removing muscle debris from the spines, they were mounted and tested on a device to passively reproduce the main movements of the spine. The degree of motion in flexion-extension and lateral bending significantly decreased from group A (ages 10-49 years) to group B (51-90 years) (p < 0.005) and was directly correlated with the amount of cervical spine degenerative alterations. The incidence of these alterations, classified according to Lysell (1969), was highest at C5-6. On the testing machine, dynamic angiography of the vertebral artery showed an impingement with extrinsic compression of the vessels in four of 28 successful injections. The histologic serial sections of the uncus showed a characteristic pattern of ossification-deformation: a newly formed cartilaginous tissue tipping the apex of the uncus, forming a double protruding contour of the apex, rapidly ossifying, and appearing to deform outward together with the disk degeneration and consequently decreasing in height.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Francesco Benazzo, Istituto di Clinica Ortopedica e Traumatologica della Università di Pavia, Via Taramelli 3, 27100 Pavia, Italy.

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