Movements of the cervical spine observed by diagnostic ultrasound
An investigation was undertaken to ascertain if standard diagnostic ultrasound equipment was capable of imaging the cervical spine and observing intersegmental motion. Cervical spine anatomy was reviewed with particular attention paid to the location and structure of the ligaments, fascia and articular structures of the region. A real-time B-scanner and 5MHz probe was selected for the project. Using a model spine within a waterbath, experience in image collection and interpretation was gained. The axial and lateral resolution of the scanner was tested. The ability of the scanner to measure a known distance using its caliper function was tested against other methods of measurement. Peripheral joints were scanned with ultrasound and were X-rayed. A set distance on both of the images was measured to see if the two methods were comparable. In vivo scanning of the neck revealed two positions for the probe which were the most useful. The body type of the patient was important to the quality of the scan achieved. Muscular or necks with much adipose tissue would produce poor quality scans. It was possible to image the laminae and the vertebra in transverse section. The motion between laminae and the motion of the vertebra as seen in the transverse view was possible to observe. The quantification of motion still requires attention.