Surgical Anatomy of the Uncinate Process and Transverse Foramen Determined by Computed Tomography
Moon Soo Park ; Seong-Hwan Moon ; K. Daniel Riew ; Hyung Joon Kim ; Jae Kyun Jung ; Jae Keun Oh ; Tae-Hwan Kim
Global Spine Journal, Vol.5(5) : 383~390, 2015
Global Spine Journal
Study Design Computed tomography-based cohort study. Objective Although there are publications concerning the relationship between the vertebral artery and uncinate process, there is no practical guide detailing the dimensions of this region to use during decompression of the intervertebral foramen. The purpose of this study is to determine the anatomic parameters that can be used as a guide for thorough decompression of the intervertebral foramen. Methods Fifty-one patients with three-dimensional computed tomography scans of the cervical spine from 2003 to 2012 were included. On axial views, we measured the distance from the midline to the medial and lateral cortices of the pedicle bilaterally from C3 to C7. On coronal reconstructed views, we measured the minimum height of the uncinate process from the cranial cortex of the pedicle adjacent to the posterior cortex of vertebral body and the maximal height of the uncinate process from the cranial cortex of the pedicle at the midportion of the vertebral body bilaterally from C3 to C7. Results The mean distances from midline to the medial and lateral cortices of the pedicle were 10.1 ± 1.3 mm and 13.9 ± 1.5 mm, respectively. The mean minimum height of the uncinate process from the cranial cortex of the pedicle was 4.6 ± 1.6 mm and the mean maximal height was 6.1 ± 1.7 mm. Conclusions Our results suggest that in most cases, one can thoroughly decompress the intervertebral foramen by removing the uncinate out to 13 mm laterally from the midline and 4 mm above the pedicle without violating the transverse foramen.