Spinal Exam
 

Bones and Ligaments

 
 
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Overview

    • Feel For

    • Costochondral & sternochondral jointsBetween the sternum and the ribs anteriorly. Especially palpate for tenderness.
    • Spinous processesPosterior processes of the vertebrae
    • Interspinous & supraspinous ligamentsConnecting adjacent spinous processes posteriorly
    • Facet jointsBetween vertebrae, lateral to the midline. Especially palpate the cervical facet joints.
    • Costovertebral jointsOf the thoracic vertebrae
    • Sacroiliac joint

Vertebral Landmarks

  • C1 - feel for the transverse processes between the angle of the mandible and the mastoid, asking the patient to turn their head.
  • C2 - palpate down from the occiput in the midline. The spinous process of C2 is the first palpable process.
  • C7 - the most prominent spinous process posteriorly.
  • T2 - palpate medially to the superior angle of the scapula.
  • T6 - palpate medially from the inferior angle of the scapula.
Last updated on January 1st, 2017
 
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