Joints of Luschka

Heard of the Joints of Luschka?

Also called uncovertebral joints, these are pseudojoints that have a synovial membrane with synovial fluid but no joint capsule. They exist between cervical vertebrae C3 – C7 and develop with age (6-18). The joint is comprised of a uncinate processes above, and the uncus below.

How are they made?
As the intervertebral discs degenerate, these projections approximate with the body of the next vertebra forming the uncovertbral joints.

What is their function?
1. Allow for flexion and extension and limit lateral flexion in the cervical spine.
2. Reinforce the intervertebral discs posterolaterally and therefore reduce the risk of disc herniation.
3. Prevent posterior translation movements of the vertebral bodies.
4. Provide stability and guide the motion of coupled rotation and lateral flexion.

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