Uncinate Process


An Uncinate Process of a vertebra is a hook-shaped process on the posterolateral borders of the superior surface of the vertebral bodies of the third to the seventh cervical vertebrae and first thoracic vertebra. Luschka's joints involve the vertebral uncinate processes.


  • prevents posterior linear translation movements of the vertebral bodies
  • reinforces the disc posterolaterally
  • limits lateral flexion (side-bending)


Osteophytes from the unicinate process result in narrowing of the intervertebral foramen and are the main cause of cervical spondylotic radiculopathy[1]


  1. J. Lu, N. A. Ebraheim, H. Yang, M. Skie, R. A. Yeasting. Cervical uncinate process: an anatomic study for anterior decompression of the cervical spine. Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy November 1998, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 249-252