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4. Cervical spine radiograph, lateral projection
Note the normal lordosis.
Atlas, the C1 vertebra, is ring shaped but casts two distinct parts to its shadow in this view: the anterior and posterior arches.
This is a very useful view to check the alignment of the seven cervical vertebrae÷imagine four longitudinal lines that can be traced along the cervical spine. From anterior to posterior these are located:
When the vertebrae are normally aligned there will be no abrupt step offs or breaks in continuity in these lines. The spinal canal, containing the spinal cord, is bounded anteriorly by the second of these lines and posteriorly by the third. (See Image #26, median MR of the cervical spine).