Trauma Imaging of the Acute Cervical Spine: Emergency and Trauma in MSK Radiology

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Abstract

Among patients admitted in emergency departments for acute cervical spine trauma, only a few have a confirmed and significant injury requiring surgical intervention. Imaging plays a key role in screening for unstable lesions that can be responsible for devastating neurologic complications or death. The complex anatomy of the cervical spine is associated with a wide spectrum of osseous and ligamentous pathologies. This review focuses on the imaging features of the main cervical spine fractures that can be encountered in emergency radiology.

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