Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!


Quick Start Forum Video Tutorial

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

Help please......cervical instability.

Hi guys,

I have a bit of a long story to tell but ultimately i'm looking for help that i'm having trouble finding.

I've had a lot of neck issues for years the main complaint being neck pain and what felt like a massively heavy head to now feeling like it's so wobbly and it feels like it 'catches' at times with small movements that really hurts.

I have herniated discs at 5/6/7 and osteophytes / minor nerve impingement.

My issues have always felt right up the top of my neck though and I was recently told by a physio that to help free up my neck I should try and "fix" c2 in place as I turn my head so it encourages c12 to rotate. I have always been unable to do that - turns out it seems my c12 was stuck as I could never stop c2 rotating as I turned my head....well with a bit too much effort I tried it a few nights ago and it made an almighty crack and now it moves and my head feels so wobbly and uncontrolable.

I had some xrays and i'll post the report below but looking at the odontoid view the gaps on each side of c12 are not equal (I don't know how to upload a pic but the cap between c1&c2 on one side is decent and the other hardly has a gap) and the dens is not in the middle / evenly spaced from c1.

However report says the joint is unremarkable, is this right?

From what i've read a antlanto axial rotation fixation is not normal and if it has been like that for long is unreversable? Mine was definitely locked and now free what does this mean.....?

From the report one would think the only issues are from c3-7 but

There is loss of the cervical lordotic curvature, which may be secondary to patient position
or paravertebral muscle spasm.
The vertebral heights are maintained.
There is subtle retrolisthesis of the C3 over C4 vertebral body in the neutral position. The
alignment of the remaining visualized cervical vertebrae are maintained in the neutral
position. On the flexion view, there is subtle anterolisthesis of the C3 over C4, C4 over C5,
C5 over C6 and C6 over C7 vertebral bodies. On the extension view, there is subtle
retrolisthesis of C4 over C5, C5 and C6 and C6 over C7 vertebral bodies. On the
extension view, there appears to be increased encroachment of the C6 and C7 bony
neural foramens.
There is no frank vertebral collapse, bony destruction or obvious focal bone lesion.
The anterior and lateral atlanto-axial joints are unremarkable.
There is mild reduction in the C4/C5 disc height. There is moderate reduction in the C5/C6
disc height seen in association with mild endplate sclerosis and small anterolateral
marginal osteophytes.
The remaining visualized intervertebral disc heights are maintained.
There is mild uncovertebral hypertrophy seen from the C4/C5 to the C6/C7 levels.
There is mild facet joint arthropathy, predominantly affecting the C4/C5 and C6/C7 levels.
The prevertebral and paravertebral soft tissues are unremarkable.
Lung apices are clear. 

1. Loss of the cervical lordotic curvature, which may be secondary to patient position
or paravertebral muscle spasm.
2. Mild disco-vertebral, uncovertebral and facet joint degenerative changes are seen in
the cervical spine, predominantly affecting the C4/C5 to C6/C7 levels.
3. Subtle retrolisthesis in the neutral position at the C3/C4 level, with varying degree of
spondylolisthesis seen from the C3/C4-C6/C7 levels, as described above. Imaging
features are indicative of intersegmental instability. On the extension view, there
appears to be increased encroachment of the C6 and C7 bony neural foramens.



  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 918
    maccaz - If I was in your shoes, I'd try to find a reputable spine surgeon (neurosurgeon or orthopedic spine surgeon) that works with complex spine issues.  Diagnostic images are generally a confirmation of what a good spine surgeon already knows after an office consultation and physical exam.  Those words are a quote from my neurosurgeon and they played out to be true in my cervical instability case. 
    He also when on to say, "Radiologists are very seldom good at diagnosing a complex spine condition when only looking at diagnostic images".  Imaging (any type) are only tools that can be effective by a good spine specialist.        

  • advertisement
  • As stated above, Find a reputable Ortho or Neuro spine surgeon. Radiologist are specialized in looking at structures and measuring spaces and highly educated in what they do. Your MD knows there are more in depth test and imaging test that can performed to give you a more exact diagnosis.


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

Sign In or Register to comment.