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 lastly 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. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
- cervical vertebrae
- degenerative changes
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics