Osteophytes in the Cervical Vertebral Bodies (C3–C7)—Demographical Perspectives

David Ezra, Israel Hershkovitz*, Khalil Salame, Deborah Alperovitch-Najenson, Viviane Slon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vertebral osteophytes are an age-dependent manifestation of degenerative changes in the spine. We aimed to determine the prevalence and severity of cervical osteophytosis in a large study population. To do so, we developed a grading system for osteophytosis, enabling the assessment of their presence and severity in the cervical spine, and applied it to the analysis of dried cervical vertebral bodies (C3–C7) from 273 individuals. Statistical analyses were carried out per motion segment, while testing for the effect of age, sex, and ethnicity. The highest prevalence of osteophytes was found in motion segment C5/C6 (48.2%), followed by C4/C5 (44.1%), and last C6/C7 and C3/C4 (40.5%). Severe osteophytes are most commonly seen in motion segment C5/C6. In all motion segments, the inferior discal surface of the upper vertebra manifests more osteophytes than the superior discal surface of the lower one. Osteophytes prevalence is sex-dependent only in the upper cervical vertebrae (C3–C4), and age- and ethnicity-dependent for all vertebrae. Anat Rec, 302:226–231, 2019.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-231
Number of pages6
JournalAnatomical Record
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • cervical vertebrae
  • degenerative changes
  • osteophytosis
  • spine


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