Cervical Spine Examination

From the journal Trauma:

Delayed or Missed Diagnosis of Cervical Spine Injuries

Background: Correct diagnosis of cervical spine injuries is still a common problem in traumatology. The incidence of delayed diagnosis ranges from 5 to 20%. The aim of this study was to analyze the frequency and reasons for delayed or missed diagnosis at this Level I trauma unit and to provide recommendations for optimal examination of patients with suspected cervical spine injuries.

Conclusion: For optimal examination of patients with suspected cervical spine injuries, we recommend establishing specific diagnostic algorithms including complete sets of proper radiographs with functional flexion/extension views, secondary evaluation of the radiographs by experienced staff, and further radiologic examinations (computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging) if evaluation of standard views is difficult.