The sixth cervical vertebra or C6 is relatively smaller in size, and wider from side to side. Its posterior and anterior surfaces are flat and equally deep. The posterior surface is placed on a higher level than the anterior. Its lower boundary is prolonged downward in such a way that it overlaps the front and upper parts of the vertebra below. Its top surface presents a transverse concave, and has a lip projection on either side. The lower surface presents a shallow, lateral concave that receives the lip projections of the underlying vertebra. The pedicles of this vertebra are placed in backward and lateral direction. Its laminae are slender, and the vertebral foramen is triangular in shape and large-sized. The spinous process is bifurcated into two parts of unequal size. Its inferior and superior articular processes are fused on two sides to form articular columns. The articular facets of the C6 vertebra are oval-shaped and flattened. Its transverse processes include a posterior and anterior portion, and are intersected by the foramen transversarium.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: C6