Traumatic cervical spine injuries in childhood and adolescence

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1989 Dec;14(12):1277-82. doi: 10.1097/00007632-198912000-00001.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Atlanto-Axial Joint / injuries*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Ligaments / injuries
  • Neck
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Radiography
  • Spinal Injuries / classification
  • Spinal Injuries / complications
  • Spinal Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Spine / diagnostic imaging