Search by Outline Set Search Limits Advanced Search Back Home

Torg Ratio Radiographic Measurement for Determining Spinal Stenosis


  • The Torg ratio is one of several radiographic methods that can be used to assess the presence of spinal cord stenosis and/or likelihood for spinal cord compression when interpreting an MRI.
  • It is known as the spinal canal to vertebral body ratio and is determined by dividing the sagittal diameter of the spinal canal by the sagittal diameter of the vertebral body.
  • A ratio of < 0.8 or 0.7 indicates significant spine stenosis and increase risk for neurologic injury.

Torg Ratio

    Anatomical Image: C3 Cervical Vertebrae


    • Line (a) = sagittal diameter of the spinal canal
    • Line (b) = sagittal diameter of the vertebral body
    • Gray Dashed Oval = represents the sagittal diameter of the spinal cord that comes from an MRI

    Note: The Torg ratio is also commonly used with the SAC to determine the presence or degree of severity of cervical spine stenosis.

    Related Content

    To see other related content select an item below:



    1. Pavlov H et al. Cervical spinal stenosis: determination with vertebral body ratio method. Radiology 1987;164(3):771-5.  PubMed 
    2. Castro FP Jr et al. Stingers, the Torg ratio, and the cervical spine. Am J Sports Med 1997;25(5):603-8.  PubMed
    3. Torg JS et al. Cervical cord neurapraxia: classification, pathomechanics, morbidity, and management guidelines. J Neurosurg 1997;87(6):843-50.  PubMed


    Editors & Reviewers

    Editors:  Anthony J. Busti, MD, PharmD, FNLA, FAHA
    Last Updated:  June 2015