The odontoid process: a comprehensive review of its anatomy, embryology, and variations

Akobo, S., Rizk, E., Loukas, M., Chapman, J.R., Oskouian, R.J., Tubbs, R.S., 2015. The odontoid process: a comprehensive review of its anatomy, embryology, and variations. Childs Nerv Syst 31, 2025–2034. doi:10.1007/s00381-015-2866-4.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: 
The odontoid process is a critical component of the cranio-cervical junction. Therefore, clinicians who diagnose, treat, or operate this region need a strong background in regard to the embryology, anatomy, and anatomical variations that may be seen for the odontoid process.

METHODS: 
A literature review was performed, using standard search engines, to explore the morphology, embryology, and anatomical variants of the odontoid process.

CONCLUSIONS: 
A sound understanding of the development of the odontoid process, both in normal and in variant forms, as well as its phenotypical morphology is a prerequisite for the diagnosis and treatment of patients presenting with disorders affecting the cranio-cervical spine.