Cervical Spine X-Ray (C-Spine X-Ray) is performed to investigate neck pain, particularly following trauma or in cases of chronic neck pain with findings of upper limb weakness, numbness or tingling.
How the Test is Performed
Cervical Spine X-Ray (C-Spine X-Ray) is performed by a radiographer in an X-Ray room. The standard three views taken are the AP (anteroposterior view, which looks at the spine from the front); lateral (which looks at the spine from the side) and peg view (this looks at the upper part of the cervical spine and requires the patient to open the mouth wide). The 5-series also includes flexion and extension views. X-Rays are taken with the patient’s head in full flexion (leaning as far forward as possible). The patient will be asked to bend the head forward as far as possible, and to extend the neck backwards as far as possible.
Medical Conditions and Symptoms
Cervical Spine X-Ray (C-Spine X-Ray) is useful in identifying cervical vertebrae fractures (bone breaks), vertebral malalignment, dislocation and degenerative spine disease.
Test Results Explained
In cases of trauma, the Cervical Spine X-Ray is usually interpreted immediately by an emergency doctor such as an Emergency Physician, an Orthopaedic Surgeon, or a General Surgeon involved in the care of the patient. Sometimes, a Radiologist may also be requested to interpret the images.
C-Spine X-Rays taken in the non-urgent setting are reported by a Radiologist, and the report is usually sent to the doctor who ordered the test. The Radiologist will usually comment on the alignment of the vertebrae and the presence or absence of any ‘wear and tear’ changes, usually related to normal aging and known as degenerative changes or osteoarthritis.
- General Practitioner (GP)
- Emergency physician
- Orthopaedic surgeon
- Pre-operative Anaesthetic assessment
Also Known As
- C-spine X-Ray
- C-spine series
- AP cervical spine
- Lateral cervical spine
- Flexion/extension views
- 5-series cervical spine
- 7-series cervical spine