The use of computed tomography in spinal trauma

M. J.D. Post, B. A. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Computed tomography (CT) has become an indispensable tool in the evaluation of spinal trauma victims, particularly those with neurologic deficits. The literature is replete with examples of the usefulness of this procedure and conversely with the limitations of traditional radiographic studies in investigating spinal injury. Numerous reports have documented the ability of CT to detect fractures of the spine, displaced bone fragments, and dislodged surgical devices, even those missed by plain films and occasionally by tomograms. In particular, posterior arch fractures not seen on plain films but diagnosed on CT have been given considerable attention in the literature. Also cited has been the ability of CT to directly affect patient management by providing information about the operability or nonoperability of traumatic lesions of the spine, be they osseous or soft tissue. The use of CT for determining if all bony fragments have been successfully removed from the spinal canal at surgery and for evaluating the position of bone grafts and Harrington rods after surgery for spinal trauma has also been described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-375
Number of pages49
JournalRadiologic Clinics of North America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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