Alar Stability Testing

by admin on April 30, 2012

As you know, the alar ligaments help to keep the head on tight (by keeping rotational and lateral stability of the cranium in check). To assess, support the head while palpating both lateral aspects of the C2 spinous process. As you side-tilt the cranium (to the right in photo) the C2 spinous process should be felt immediately as moving to the left (the right conjunct C2 rotation response to right cranial side-tilt). Of course, the opposite would occur if cranial side-tilt was to the left. Any delay in C2’s movement may suggest alar laxity. (N.B. perform in neutral, flexion, and extension while comparing for consistency)

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