Inclination of the Odontoid Process in Children and Adults - an Anatomical and Functional Investigation

  • J. Koebke
  • K.-S. Saternus
Part of the Advances in Neurosurgery book series (NEURO, volume 14)


The odontoid process of the axis is the most peculiar structure of the upper cervical spine. It is the center of the median atlantoaxial joint, which functions as a pivot articulation. The annular articulation, formed by the anterior arch and the transverse ligament of the atlas, is apposed to the anterior and posterior surfaces of the odontoid. The axis of the odontoid process does not generally coincide with that of the body of the second cervical vertebra in adults. Depending on the very individual curve of the cervical column, the odontoid might be straight or inclined dorsally or ventrally (5, 6 ). The purpose of this paper is to analyze the nature of distortion in the odontoid. This includes measurement and comparison of its degree of inclination both in young children and in adults. X-rays of median-sagittal sections of the odontoid which were made for the study of trabecular structure in adults were functionally interpreted on the basis of density distribution and architecture with respect to the degree of odontoid angulation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Koebke
    • 1
  • K.-S. Saternus
    • 1
  1. 1.Anatomisches Institut der Universität zu KölnKöln 41Germany

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