It was the purpose of the Spine Trauma Study Group to compile a collection of clinically useful imaging methods used in lower cervical spine trauma and to describe in detail how these measurements should be made.
Injury detection, description, and treatment decision-making rely on accurate imaging of the lower cervical spine. However, a standard set of imaging measurement techniques for this region does not exist. While most clinicians have developed their own methods of describing radiographic pathology, this variability often leads to confusion in developing an agreed on classification system and limits treatment recommendations.
The available literature concerning measurement of injury characteristics after lower cervical trauma was reviewed. Consensus of the most potentially useful measurement methods among the surgeon members of the Spine Trauma Study Group was achieved.
These measurements included the following: kyphosis (Cobb angle and posterior vertebral body tangent methods); vertebral body translation; vertebral body height loss; maximal spinal canal compromise and spinal cord compression; facet fracture fragment size; and percentage facet subluxation.
A consistent and standard measurement technique among clinicians with regards to imaging of lower cervical spine trauma should positively influence treatment outcome. However, it is through prospective study that the clinical significance of these recommendations will be scientifically established.
A consistent and standard measurement technique among clinicians with regards to imaging of cervical spine trauma is important. The authors compiled a collection of clinically useful imaging methods used in lower cervical spine trauma and described in detail how these measurements should be made.
From the *Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA; †Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Rothman Institute, Philadelphia, PA; ‡Department of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada; §Combined Neurosurgical and Orthopaedic Spine Program, Vancouver, BC, Canada; ¶Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Maryland, MD; and ∥Department of Neurosurgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA.
Acknowledgment date: June 18, 2004. First revision date: November 7, 2004. Second revision date: March 1, 2005. Acceptance date: March 9, 2005.
The manuscript submitted does not contain information about medical device(s)/drug(s).
Corporate/Industry funds were received in support of this work. Although one or more of the author(s) has/have received or will receive benefits for personal or professional use from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this manuscript, benefits will be directed solely to a research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other nonprofit organization which the author(s) has/have been associated.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Christopher M. Bono, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Boston Medical Center, Dowling 2 North, Boston, MA 02118-2393. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org