What are the AANS/CNS guidelines on the initial assessment of acute spinal cord injury (SCI)?

Updated: Nov 01, 2018
  • Author: Lawrence S Chin, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Brian H Kopell, MD  more...
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Answer

In the awake, asymptomatic patient who is without neck pain or tenderness, who has a normal neurological examination, is without an injury detracting from an accurate evaluation, and who is able to complete a functional range of motion examination; radiographic evaluation of the cervical spine is not recommended.

In the awake, symptomatic patient, high-quality computed tomography (CT) imaging of the cervical spine is recommended.

In the obtunded or unevaluable patient, high-quality CT imaging is recommended as the initial imaging modality of choice.


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