The C2 vertebra is the second vertebra from the top of the spine. It lies on a plane equal to the teeth when the mouth is closed. Commonly known as the axis, the C2 vertebra differs in structure from all other vertebrae. Uniquely, it features a significant vertical protrusion, called the dens, which serves as a pivot point for the joint formed by the C1 and C2 vertebrae.
From beneath the C2 vertebra issues the C3 nerve root. Since the cervical spine withstands a great deal more movement than the rest of the spine, the intervertebral discs between the cervical vertebrae are predictably susceptible to injury or degeneration, which can lead to a spinal condition such as a herniated disc. If the C3 nerve root is compressed by a herniated disc, a patient may experience the following symptoms:
- Loss of mobility in the neck
- Numbness or tingling sensations in the neck and shoulder
- Pain in the back of the head or neck, or pain behind the eyes or ears
Successfully treating such conditions is the mission of Laser Spine Institute, where our surgeons use the most advanced spine surgery techniques in order to effectively treat neck and back pain. For more information about our minimally invasive procedures and to receive a review of your MRI or CT scan, contact us today.