Medycyna Wet. 65 (7), 492-497, 2009

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Wielądek A., Kupczyńska M., Barszcz K., Wąsowicz M.
Clinical anatomy perspective on intervertebral joint C2 – C3
The aim of the study was to describe the shape of the articular facets of the axis in dogs of three morphotypes and different body weights. The facet joints contribute significantly to the stability of the cervical spine, predominantly by providing axial rotational stability at C2 and C3. The research involved the examination of cadavers of 30 adult male and female dogs of three morphotypes and body weights from 2.22 to 72 kg. The craniocervical junction elements, especially the second cervical vertebra (axis), were isolated by standard anatomical preparation. The maximal articular surface width – ASW, the maximal articular surface length – ASL and the inclination of the articular surface – h were measured. The articular surface length – to – width index was calculated. The linear correlation function for K and h with body mass and the cranial index and the coefficient of determination R2 were determined. The atlantoaxial dorsal ligament was put to the microscopic test. Index K ranged from 0.71 to 1.90. In small breeds, more longitudal oval-shaped facets were observed. Circular facets and more transversely oval-shaped facets were found in medium and large breeds. The large breeds have a preventive mechanism against greater mobility in C2 – C3. Their atlantoaxiale dorsale ligament is fibrocartilagineus. These dogs are consequently less exposed to damages of the intervertebral disc and medulla spinalis.
Keywords: dog, axis, articular facets