Functional anatomy and biomechanics of the cervical spine

Alessandro Ramieri, Maurizio Domenicucci, Massimo Miscusi, Giuseppe Costanzo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The head-neck system consists of seven cervical vertebrae and has a unique anatomy and motion to accommodate the needs of a highly mobile head-torso transitory zone. From a kinematical point of view, this system is very complex. Normally, the spine mainly functions as a coupled unit, and neck kinematics can be analyzed by studying head movement relative to the upper body. Cervical motion in every plane is checked by anatomic restraints that protect the spinal cord and accompanying vascular structures. The head can be regarded as a platform that houses the sensory apparatus for hearing, vision, smell, taste: the cervical spine constitutes a device that support this sensory platform, moving and orientating it in the three-dimensional space. Any disturbance of anatomy and mechanical properties can lead to clinical symptoms. Also age-related changes can modified cervical anatomy and alignment, drastically reducing range of motion [1, 2].

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCervical Spine: Minimally Invasive and Open Surgery
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9783319216089, 9783319216072
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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