Cervical spine injury : Diagnosis, prognosis and management

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Schüller-Weidekamm C. Radiologe. 2008 Apr 16 [Epub ahead of print] [Article in German] Cervical spine injuries are a common occurrence in multi-trauma patients and should be taken into account when planning further clinical management. This review describes in detail upper and lower cervical spine injuries and introduces the sub-axial injury classification (SLIC) that is based on three components: injury morphology, integrity of the discoligamentous complex and the neurologic status of the patient. If the total SLIC score is <3, non-surgical treatment is recommended. If the total is >/=5, operative treatment is indicated as such a score is associated with instability and probably neurologic deficits. The precise diagnosis of the radiologist, which would include the SLIC classification, should facilitate clinical decision-making about further management.

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