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Cervical Spine Trauma
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  1. Cervical Spine Trauma Aaron B. Welk, DC Resident, Department of Radiology Logan College of Chiropractic

  2. Three Column Model • Anterior • ALL • Anterior half of vertebral body, disc, and supporting soft tissues • Middle • PLL • Posterior half of vertebral body, disc, and supporting soft tissues • Posterior • Posterior elements • Facet joints • Associated soft tissues

  3. Three Column Model • Disruption of only one column is generally stable • Disruption of 2 or 3 columns implies instability • Flexion and extension films may highlight instability that is not evident on neutral lateral.

  4. Evaluation Of Alignment Instability may be subtle. Disruption of any one of the anatomical lines may indicate injury. Evaluation of 4 lines must be done on all lateral films. Anterior body line (A) Posterior body line (B) Spinolaminar line (C) Posterior spinous line

  5. Flexion Injury • Unilateral Locked Facet • Flexion with rotation • Most common location is C4/5 and C5/6 • Little or no body displacement • Bow-tie Sign • Bilateral Locked Facet • Flexion with enough force to distract facets • 50% anterolisthesison lower segment

  6. Unilateral Locked Facet

  7. Bilateral Locked Facet

  8. Bilateral Locked Facet Left Right

  9. Bilateral Locked Facet Sag STIR Sag T2 FSE

  10. Spinal Cord Contusion • Non-Hemorrhagic bruising of spinal cord • MRI Appearance: • T1: Low signal intensity • T2: High signal intensity

  11. Spinal Cord Contusion

  12. Spinal Cord Hemorrhage • Hyperacute: • T1: isointense • T2: high signal intensity • Acute: • T1: Low signal intensity • T2: Low signal intensity • Subacute (early): • T1: high signal intensity • T2: low signal intensity • Subacute (late): • T1: high signal intensity • T2: high signal intensity • Chronic: • T1: isointense • T2: high signal intensity

  13. Spinal Cord Hemorrhage T1 T2

  14. Flexion Injury • Anterior Wedge Compression • Usually Stable unless posterior ligaments are disrupted • Disrupted posterior elements may appear stable initially due to muscle spasm • Teardrop Burst • Most severe injury compatible with life. • 80% with neurologic injury • Posterior body is displaced into neural canal

  15. Teardrop Burst Fracture

  16. Teardrop Burst Fracture

  17. Teardrop Burst Fracture

  18. Clay-Shoveler’s Fracture • Oblique Fracture through the spinous process of C6-T3 (C6 and C7 are most common) • The name is derived from the common occurrence of this fracture in Australian clay miners. • Usually caused by hyperflexion, although a direct blow can also cause this injury

  19. Clay-Shoveler’s fracture

  20. Clay-Shoveler’s Fracture

  21. Extension Injury • Extension Teardrop • Avulsion of ALL from inferior corner of vertebral body • Usually at C2 or C3 • Hangman’s Fracture • Fracture of the neural arch of C2 with varying degrees of C2/3 disk involvement • Type I- Fracture of neural arch w/o disk involvement • Type II- >3mm displacement or 15˚ angulation at C2/3 • Type III- Anterior displacement of C2 due to unilateral or bilateral facet dislocation. • Pillar/Facet Fracture • Extension injury while head is rotated

  22. Extension Teardrop

  23. Extension Teardrop

  24. Hangman’s Fracture- Type I

  25. Hangman’s Fracture- Type II

  26. Hangman’s Fracture- Type III

  27. Pillar Fracture

  28. Pillar Fracture

  29. Odontoid Fractures • Mechanism of injury is not fully understood and experimental attempts to recreate have been unsuccessful. • Injury is result of major force and usually results from MVA or falls. • 3 Classifications: • Type I- Fracture of upper portion of dens (Stable) • Type II- Fracture at base of dens at C2 body junction (Unstable) • Type III- Fracture into C2 body (Stable)*

  30. Type I Odontoid Fracture

  31. Type II Odontoid Fracture

  32. Type III Odontoid Fracture

  33. Jefferson’s (Burst) Fracture • Ring fracture of C1 due to axial loading • Lateral displacement of lateral masses • May have little or no neurologic deficit unless transverse ligament is ruptured

  34. Jefferson’s Fracture

  35. References • Musculoskeletal Imaging: The Requisites, 3rd ed. B.J. Manaster, David G. Disler, David A. May, editors. St. Louis: Mosby; 2007. pp 164-174 • Diagnosis of Bone and Joint Disorders. 4th ed. Donald Resnick. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders; 2002. pp 2958-2981

  36. Images • http://thejns.org • http://radiographics.rsna.org • http://download.imaging.consult.com • www.medcyclopedia.com • http://emedicine.medscape.com • http://handbook.muh.ie • http://int.prop.if2.cuni.cz • http://radiologyinthai.blogspot.com • www.aafp.org • www.learningradiology.com • http://img.orthobullets.com • http://img04.webshots.com • www.mypacs.net • www.medifax.com • www.medscape.com • http://gentili.us • www.med.wayne.edu • www.radiologyassistant.nl