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Traumatic Cervical Spine Injuries in Childhood and Adolescence

BIRNEY, TIMOTHY J., MD; HANLEY, EDWARD N. Jr., MD

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Of 84 consecutive children and adolescents with traumatic cervical spine injuries treated over a 10-year period, 61 (73%) were available for review. Age ranged from the newborn period to 17 years. Analysis of injury type revealed four groups of roughly equal incidence: atlantoaxial rotary subluxation, upper cervical fracture or dislocation, lower cervical injury, and spinal cord injury without radiographic abnormality. Forty-four percent of patients incurred a neurologic injury. Falling from a height was the most common mechanism of injury. Apart from patients with complete neurologic deficits, the prognosis for these injuries is good.

From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.