Occipital spurs on lateral cephalometric radiographs: morphologic and morphometric features.

Gunacar D. N., Gonca M., Kose T. E.

Oral radiology, vol.38, no.3, pp.416-421, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11282-021-00574-y
  • Journal Name: Oral radiology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.416-421
  • Keywords: Cephalometry, Occipital bone, Radiology, CERVICAL-SPINE, PROTUBERANCE, OSSIFICATION, PREVALENCE, LIGAMENT
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


Objective To evaluate the presence of occipital spurs, morphologic/morphometric features, and the presence of ossification of ligamentum nuchae (ONL) on lateral cephalometric radiographs of individuals aged under and over 18 years. Methods Lateral cephalometric radiographs of 1430 individuals aged between 14-50 years were scanned. The presence of ONL and occipital spurs was evaluated in 1312 patients who met the inclusion criteria, and existing occipital spurs were measured and their types (flat/crest/spine) were recorded. Results Occipital spurs were detected in 63 patients aged over 18 years (63/120; 52.5%) and 57 patients aged under 18 years (57/120; 47.5%). When the spur length by age category and sex was evaluated, no statistically significant difference was observed. The spur types seen were flat (40.8%; 49/120), crest (30%; 36/120) and spine (29.2%; 35/120), respectively. Although there was no statistically significant difference between the spur types seen in terms of age, a significant difference was observed between the sexes in the total group (p < 0.001). Spine-type spurs (66.7%; 18/27) were the most common in females, and flat-type spurs (45.2%; 42/39) were the most common in males. ONL was detected in only three individuals. Conclusion No relationship was found between the presence of occipital spurs and ONL. Although spur length was not affected by age and sex, spur types were found to vary according to sex. Occipital spurs are mostly asymptomatic and detected incidentally on lateral cephalometric radiographs. They are one of the important anatomic formations that should be diagnosed by physicians.