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Uncovertebral joints

- Discussion:
    - uncovertebral joint arthrosis involves what is known as the joints of Luschka, extending from C3 to C7;
    - lateral aspect of vertebral body has superior projection (uncinate process);
    - as the disks become degenerative, these projections approximate w/ body of the next highest vertebra;
         - result is degenerative joint changes called the joint of Luschka;

- Arthritic Process:
    - as loss of disk space ht occurs;
    - uncinate processes are pressed together, resulting in central clefts & a rounding off of the articular surface;
    - osteophytes form & project into disk space or intervertebral foramina, compressing nerve roots & producing radicular symptoms;
    - Spondylosis, manifested by uncovertebral osteophytes, will compress nerve roots anteriorly, causing a radicular syndrome;

- Radiographs:
    - Oblique & AP views are used to evaluate uncovertebral joints;
    - AP shows narrowing of uncovertebral joints w/ irregularity & rounding of uncinate w/ lateral projecting osteophytes at joint margins;
    - oblique views:
           - formina canal can be evaluated for encroachment by spurs;
           - these spurs are not thought to encroach upon the nerve roots until they obliterate more than 50% of the foraminal volume