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Asian Spine J. 2015 Dec;9(6):895-900. doi: 10.4184/asj.2015.9.6.895. Epub 2015 Dec 8.

Radiological Assessment of the Effect of Congenital C3-4 Synostosis on Adjacent Segments.

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Department of Orthopaedic, Jeju Halla General Hospital, Jeju, Korea.
Department of Orthopaedic, Bone Care Orthopaedic Group, Taipei, Taiwan.
Department of Orthopaedic, Dong-In General Hospital, Donghae, Korea.



Retrospective case series.


To assess the effect of non-kyphotic aligned congenital C3-4 synostosis on the adjacent segment in 10 patients.


In the cervical spine, fusion disease at the adjacent motion segments may be a risk factor for potential neurological compromise and death.


Radiograms of 10 patients 13 to 69 years of age presenting with neck/shoulder discomfort or pain with or without trauma history were examined. C3-4 synostosis was found incidentally in all patients on routine examination radiographs of cervical spine.


Adjacent segment disease (ASD) was not found in the three patients younger than 39 years of age. Five of the 10 (50%) patients, including a 67-year-old man, did not develop spondylosis in any of the cervical mobile segments. Spondylosis was observed only in the caudal 1-2 mobile segments in the remaining five patients. The youngest was a 40-year-old male who had spondylosis in the two caudal mobile segments (C4-5 and C5-6). Spondylosis was limited to the two close caudal mobile segments and was not in the cranial segments. Flaring of the lower part of synostotic vertebra associated with advanced narrowed degenerate disc was evident in five patients.


Mobile segment spondylosis in the individuals with congenital monosegment C3-4 synostosis over age of 40 years may be a natural manifestation of aging and is not solely an adjacent segment disease directly and fully related with congenital C3-4 synostosis.


Adjacent segment; Cervical spine; Congenital; Synostosis

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