The Study: Radiographic Comparison between Cervical Spine Lateral and Whole-Spine Lateral Standing Radiographs
- The authors note that you can evaluate the alignment of the lateral cervical spine by using either a lateral cervical or a full spine radiograph,
- However, they feel that no one has compared the two views for evaluation of alignment of the sagittal view of the cervical spine and that is what they do in this article.
- They had 59 subjects who had neck pain and had both a lateral cervical and a lateral full spine radiograph.
- The lateral cervical views were taken at 72 inches while the full spines were taken at 98.4 inches.
- On the lateral cervical views the hands were hanging down at their sides and in the lateral full spine views the arms were crossed on the subject's chest.
- They measured the following on both radiographs: "occipital C2 angle, C2-C7 angle, C7-sternal angle, sternal slope, T1 slope, C2 central offset distance, the distance between C2 and C7 plumb lines, C4 anteroposterior (AP) diameter, the ratio of C2 central off distance to C4 AP diameter, the ratio of plumb lines' distance to C4 AP diameter."
They note that difference in the measurements were less than the margin of error for the measurement process.
The two types of radiographs give basically the same measurement of the lateral cervical spine.
So in this study it appears that the two types of radiographs give very similar outcomes. It is important to evaluate all the methods that we use to evaluate the spine (you will see me make that same statement again in an upcoming article). If our methods of evaluation are inaccurate how can we expect to know what to do. Oh, and just in case you're wondering, yes this one also comes from the medical colleges. They appear interested in measuring spines on both full spine and sectional views.
Reviewer: Roger Coleman DC
Editor’s Comments: If you are one of the few chiropractors still taking full spine lateral films, take heart. Your measurements appear to be quite accurate. Seems like the only folks who aren’t interested in exploring the value of full spine radiographs are chiropractors. My how things do change. Stay tuned as we bring you even more articles written by MDs who are stealing our art and heritage.
Editor: Mark R. Payne DC
Reference: Park MS, Moon SH, Kim Th, Oh JK, Kang HJ, Riew KD. Radiographic Comparison between Cervical Spine Lateral and Whole-Spine Lateral Standing Radiographs. Global Spine J. 2016;6:118-23. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1556584. Epub 2015 Jun 24
Link to Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26933612