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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 633-652

Management of sub-axial cervical spine injuries

1 Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Sunshine Hospitals and Trauma Centre, Bhubhaneshwar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Gautam Zaveri
302 Bhaveshwar Kutir, 4th Road Rajawadi, Ghatkopar (East), Mumbai - 400 077, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ortho.IJOrtho_192_16

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Sub-axial cervical spine injuries are commonly seen in patients with blunt trauma. They may be associated with spinal cord injury resulting in tetraplegia and severe permanent disability. Immobilization of the neck, maintenance of blood pressure and oxygenation, rapid clinical and radiological assessment of all injuries, and realignment of the spinal column are the key steps in the emergency management of these injuries. The role of intravenous methylprednisolone administration in acute spinal cord injuries remains controversial. The definitive management of these injuries is based upon recognition of the fracture pattern, assessment of the degree of instability, the presence or absence of neurologic deficit, and other patient related factors that may influence the outcome. Nonoperative treatment comprises of some form of external immobilization for 8 to 12 weeks, followed by imaging to assess fracture healing, and to rule out instability. The goals of surgery are realignment of the vertebral column, decompression of the neural elements and instrumented stabilization.

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