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Imaging in spinal trauma 

Imaging in spinal trauma
Imaging in spinal trauma

P. McNee

, S. Gaba

, and E. McNally

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date: 28 June 2022

Clinical criteria and the nature of the injury determine who needs imaging

Plain films are still commonly employed though CT finds more fractures

Alignment, bony contour, cartilage (Disc and facets) and soft tissue are assessed in turn (ABC’S)

CT is superior to MRI in assessing the bony configuration of fracture

MRI is superior to CT in assessing the ligament tears and associated disc herniations

Plain films have little role in the assessment of more chronic back pain and radiculopathy

Sacral insufficiency fractures may be misdiagnosed as metastases on MRI.

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