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The focus of this article is on key aspects of caring for patients with a traumatic injury to the spinal column and/or spinal cord. Many variables can make diagnosing and treating spinal injuries difficult. The multiple classification schemes and treatment options available and the controversies in the literature can make spine trauma seem daunting. Included in this short overview are several references that can serve as useful guides for orthopaedic residents when they are presented with a patient who has a spinal injury.