Imaging of the Cervical Spine > Management > Management


General Principles

The eventual outcome for the spine trauma patient often depends upon action taken by the emergency team in the first 6 to 12 hours after injury. The main objective in cervical trauma management is to prevent cord injury and to minimize any secondary injuries to spinal cord tissue as a result of inadequate immobilization, persistent spinal cord compression, poor blood flow or oxygenation. The goal is to optimize the environment for the spinal cord to recover as much as possible.

There are three indications for surgical intervention in cervical spine trauma. These are: 1. Neurologic deficit, 2. Spinal instability, and 3. Intractable pain.

If a cervical fracture or dislocation is found. Orthopedic or neurosurgical consultation should be obtained immediately.

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