- Mechanism of injury is highly variable, ranging from seemingly innocuous falls to high-energy motor vehicle accidents.
- Possible presentations include neck pain, limited range of motion, and/or neurological deficit.
- A high index of suspicion and proper investigation is required to detect bone or ligament damage that can otherwise result in spinal cord injury.
- If suspected, immediate stabilisation using a cervical hard collar, head blocks, and backboard is essential until serious injury can be excluded by neurological assessment and CT scan or other imaging.
- Maintenance of mean arterial blood pressure and consideration of the use of methylprednisolone are potentially important and time-sensitive therapeutic interventions. The use of methylprednisolone, while certainly time-sensitive, is an intervention whose efficacy is debated among professionals. Early consultation with a specialist is advisable to avoid delays that may affect patient outcome.
- This monograph concentrates on cervical spine trauma in adults.
Last updated: Nov 19, 2012