Although cartilage itself is not visible on plain imaging, the cartilaginous spaces should be assessed for uniformity.

Special note should be made of the following:

  • The distance between the vertebral bodies from C2/3 onwards. This should be similar at all levels
  • The C1/2 articulation. The distance between the anterior margin of the odontoid process and the posterior portion of the arch of C1 should be no greater than 3 mm in the adult spine
  • The facet joints. Assess for uniformity at each level

Click on the x-ray to enlarge.