September 1963

Calcification of the Cervical Intervertebral Disc

Author Affiliations

James Morris, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, Calif.; From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California School of Medicine, and Children's Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1963;106(3):295-300. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080050297007

Calcification of the intervertebral disc was mentioned for the first time by von Luschka in 1858 1 and demonstrated in cadavers by x-ray in 1897 by Beneke.2 It was 1922 before Calvé and Galland first described disc calcification in the living subject.3

Since that time, calcification of the lumbar and thoracic discs has often been noted incidentally in older individuals and generally has been ascribed to degenerative changes within the disc. It also has been seen in vitamin D intoxication and in alkaptonuria, apparently unrelated to any symptoms.

In the child, however, especially in the cervical spine, calcification of the disc ordinarily is associated with impressive signs and symptoms. Striking similarity of the natural history, reported complaints, and the physical and roentgenologic findings in cases of cervical disc calcification appears to warrant the consideration of this condition as a specific clinical entity.

The following cases are presented as

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