초록 close

Purpose: Missing cervical pathology after injury may lead to disability and influence long-term survival. Controversies continue to evolve concerning the initial screening methods used to predict cervical spine injury. Through a retrospective chart review, we attempted to analyze and propose factors predictive of cervical trauma. Methods: Of all the patients who had visited the Emergency Department of Korea University, from January 2009 to December 2009, a retrospective review of the clinical records of the 217 patients who had undergone cervical spine computed tomography was done. We investigated whether we could predict the need for cervical spine computed tomography shortly after presentation in trauma patients by comparing the group with fractures and group without fractures and by finding risk factors showing significant differences between the two groups that might be used as guides in decision making. Results: Of the 217 subjects who underwent cervical spine computed tomography scans, 33 were identified with fractures of the cervical spine while 184 were not. The most common mechanisms of trauma, in order, for those with fractures were falls, followed by traffic accidents. We found that the injury severity score, multiple injuries, a high-energy injury mechanism, neurologic deficit, and pain and tenderness of the cervical spine showed statistically significant differences between the two groups. Conclusion: Fractures of the cervical spine that are not observed with simple radiography occur with a relatively high frequency in trauma patients. Consideration should be given to the risk factors for cervical spine fracture, and if pertinent, cervical spine computed tomography should be performed with speed for early diagnosis of cervical spine fractures. (J Korean Soc Traumatol 2011;24:18-24)