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Can J Surg. 2004 Aug;47(4):251-6.

Efficacy of orthotic immobilization of the unstable subaxial cervical spine of the elderly patient: investigation in a cadaver model.

Author information

  • 1Division of Orthopedic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont. spinopod@allstream.net

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the efficacy of soft, semirigid and hard cervical collars to immobilize the neck in a destabilized cadaver model.

DESIGN:

This is a laboratory experiment.

SETTING:

The anatomy research lab of McMaster University.

PATIENTS:

None. Fresh cadavers from elderly patients suffering terminal medical illness and free of cervical structural disease were studied.

INTERVENTIONS:

Destabilizing discoligamentous lesions of the neck were created in the cadavers. Radiographs were taken in maximum displacement in the prone, decubitus and side-bending positions, first unsupported and then with soft, semirigid and hard collars applied. Displacements in angulation and translation were measured from the radiographs.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Radiographic displacement under gravity load.

RESULTS:

In all cases there was no effective limitation of pathological displacement, and in many cases displacement was increased after collar application.

CONCLUSIONS:

Cervical collars do not effectively support the unstable neck, and may be ineffective in preventing pathological displacements.

PMID:
15362326
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3211784
Free PMC Article
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