Journal article

Isolated ligamentous cervical spinal injury in the polytrauma patient with a head injury

L Weinberg, CY Hiew, DJ Brown, EJ Lim, GK Hart

ANAESTHESIA AND INTENSIVE CARE | AUSTRALIAN SOC ANAESTHETISTS | Published : 2007

Abstract

The evaluation of the cervical spine in the unconscious trauma patient is a difficult and controversial topic in trauma management. Conventional cervical clearance protocols consisting of plain radiology and computed tomography may not adequately detect unstable cervical ligament and disc injuries, even though a high-risk mechanism of injury has occurred. We present two cases where cervical clearance protocols, utilising plain X-rays and multi-slice computed tomography, failed to identify significant ligamentous spinal injuries. A delay in diagnosis or a missed spinal injury can lead to delays in treatment, thereby increasing the risk of neurological deterioration with the potential devastat..

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