Observational, anatomical, cadaveric study
We anatomically investigated the fibrous connection between the cervical nerves and the zygapophysial joint capsules.
Summary of Background Data.
Cervical spondylotic radiculopathy is caused by the compression of the cervical nerves as the static factor and head and neck movements as the dynamic factor. To understand the dynamic pathology of cervical spondylotic radiculopathy, the anatomic relationship between the cervical nerves and the zygapophysial joints needs to be investigated in detail.
In 11 cadavers, we dissected both sides from the C5 to C7. For macroscopic examination, we observed structures connecting the cervical nerves and the zygapophysial joints in 18 cervical nerves from 3 cadavers. In 14 sides of 8 cadavers, we histologically analyzed the fibrous structures and their attachments.
Macroscopically, the fibrous band connected the cranial surface of the cervical nerve to the lateral and inferior aspects of the transverse process. In 4 of 18 nerves, the fibrous bands were divided into two fascicles by loose connective tissues. In addition, the fibrous bands extended along the dorsal aspect of the posterior tubercle of the transverse process and attached to the zygapophysial joint capsule. Histologically, densely stained fibrous tissues overlaid the zygapophysial joint capsule and extended to the recess between the posterior tubercle and inferior articular process on the cranial vertebral body.
We macroscopically and histologically clarified the fibrous bands connecting the cervical nerve to the zygapophysial joint capsule. The fibrous bands may help clarify the pathology of cervical spondylotic radiculopathy associated with the zygapophysial joints as dynamic factors.
Level of Evidence: N/A.