In the cervical region, the cervical nerve root exits above the cervical pedicle of its like-numbered cervical vertebra (opposite to the situation of the lumbar spine, due to the fact that there are 8 cervical nerve roots and only 7 cervical vertebrae).
The purpose of a study was to describe the relationships between the lateral mass, pedicle, and transverse foramen. This study analyzed computed tomography images from 77 patients (42 female, 35 male; mean age: 63.95 years). The anatomical pedicle transverse angle (PTA) and linear parameters of the lateral mass were measured, and the relationship between the calculated angles and the anatomical PTA was investigated. θp was defined as the convergence angle from the posterolateral edge of the lateral mass to the pedicle, and θc was defined as the convergence angle from the posterolateral edge of the lateral mass to the anterolateral corner of the vertebral foramen. The thickness of the cortical bone of the medial wall of the lateral mass (cT) and the medial (mT) and lateral (lT) walls of the pedicle at C3-7 were also measured. The PTA was similar to θp and θc at C3-6, but different at C7. In all cases, the transverse foramen was located more anterior to the posterior wall of the cervical body at C3-6, but not at C7. mT and cT were significantly thicker than lT at all levels. Lateral fluoroscopic images show that when the probe is inserted along θc, it meets the counter corner of the lateral mass at C3-6 without invasion of the transverse foramen if it does not cross the posterior wall of the vertebral body. This can be significant when performing cervical pedicle screwing (CPS) and paravertebral foramen screwing (PVFS) 1).