Biomechanics, evaluation, and management of subaxial cervical spine injuries: A comprehensive review of the literature.

Abstract

Study design

Literature review.

Objectives

It has been reported that 2.4-3.7% of all blunt trauma victims suffer some element of cervical spine fracture, with the majority of these patients suffering from C3-7 (subaxial) involvement. With the improvement of first-response to trauma in the community, there are an increasing number of patients who survive their initial trauma and thus arrive at the hospital in need of further evaluation, stabilization, and management of these injuries.

Methods

A comprehensive literature review compiled all relevant data on the biomechanics, imaging, evaluation, and medical and surgical management strategies for subaxial cervical spine fractures.

Results

After review of the current literature on subaxial cervical spine biomechanics, imaging characteristics, evaluation strategies and surgical and orthopedic management techniques, the authors created a comprehensive review and protocol for management of subaxial cervical spine fractures.

Conclusions

The subaxial cervical spine is biomechanically and anatomically unique from the remainder of the spinal axis. Evaluation of subaxial cervical spine injuries is nuanced, and improper management of these injuries can lead to significant patient morbidity and even death. This provides a comprehensive review combining anatomy, imaging characteristics, evaluation strategies, and surgical and orthopedic management principles for subaxial cervical spine fractures.

Department

Description

Provenance

Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1016/j.jocn.2020.11.004

Publication Info

Wang, Timothy Y, Vikram A Mehta, Tara Dalton, Eric W Sankey, C Rory Goodwin, Isaac O Karikari, Christopher I Shaffrey, Khoi D Than, et al. (2021). Biomechanics, evaluation, and management of subaxial cervical spine injuries: A comprehensive review of the literature. Journal of clinical neuroscience : official journal of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia, 83. pp. 131–139. 10.1016/j.jocn.2020.11.004 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/28124.

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