Anatomy and development of the young Spine

Brian A. Kelly, Brian Snyder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Knowledge of the normal development and anatomy of the growing spine is essential for the proper evaluation of the young athlete's spine. Changes to the anatomy and mechanics of the spine as the child grows put the young athlete at risk for specific conditions and injuries of the axial skeleton. During radiographic evaluation, a thorough understanding of patterns of ossification, variants, and anatomic differences from the mature spine, such as pseudosubluxation and increased atlanto-dens interval, will aid in diagnosis and prevent misinterpretation of normal findings as injury. The goal of this chapter is to review the embryologic development and pertinent anatomy of the spine in children and adolescents as it changes during normal growth including the identification of common anatomic variants. This anatomic information will serve as the basis for evaluating the structure and function of the young athlete's spine in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpinal Injuries and Conditions in Young Athletes
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781461447535
ISBN (Print)9781461447528
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Atlanto-dens interval
  • Development
  • Embryology
  • Os odontoideum
  • Ossification
  • Pseudo-Jefferson
  • Pseudosubluxation
  • Spine
  • Synchondroses
  • Vertebral wedging


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