This is the first of a three part series describing the clinical issues surrounding the radiographic assessment of the cervical spine. Defined in this literature review is the working definition of cervical stability. Described are the “normal” anatomical relationships between the cervical vertebrae for both the adult and the child, as portrayed by lateral radiographs. Also presented is a review of available documentation regarding the normal segmental function of the vertebrae in the upper and in the lower cervical spine. The next two parts in this series will deal with the definitions and radiographic evaluation of cervical hypermobility and instability respectively.
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