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Postgrad Med. 1994 Mar;95(4):173-4, 177-9, 182-4 passim.

Radiographic evaluation of cervical spine trauma. Procedures to avoid catastrophe.

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Scott & White Clinic, Temple, TX 76508.


A cervical spine series that includes three views (ie, lateral, open-mouth odontoid, and anteroposterior) is usually adequate to exclude unstable injuries that have the potential for producing spinal cord injury. The films should be of the highest quality and need to be carefully and systematically viewed. Knowledge of cervical spine anatomy and of common types of injuries (including their mechanisms) is essential for accurate interpretation. Conventional tomography, computed tomography, and flexion and extension lateral views may be helpful when findings on the three-view series are equivocal. In patients with neurologic deficits, further radiographic evaluation is also warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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