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Surg Radiol Anat. 1989;11(4):323-8.

The neurocentral vertebral cartilage: anatomy, physiology and physiopathology.

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Unité de Pathologie Rachidienne, Le Tripode, Bordeaux, France.


The neurocentral cartilage (NCC) described by Schmorl was an intermediate cartilage has aroused discussion among numerous authors as to its role, its age of closure and its possible involvment in the genesis of scoliosis. The authors have attempted to define these problems on the basis of a histologic study of 20 vertebral specimens of different ages and a scanographic study of 25 children. The NCC remains open until adolescence and even beyond, but its maximal activity is probably around 5-6 years. Part of its function is to ensure growth of the posterior arch. Finally, the scanograms of scoliosis show the NCC to be more widely open on the concave side, as if this remained active for a longer period.

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