Computed Tomography Scanning

CT scanning is indicated in any major fracture or fracture/dislocation of the spine. CT scanning can improve the detection of fractures in areas poorly visualized by plain radiography; these areas comprise the C1, C2, C6 and C7 vertebrae. CT scanning is less useful for purely soft tissue injuries seen with ligamentous disruption.

CT scanning can miss fractures oriented in the axial plane.18 Subluxations and dislocations are also sometimes missed with CT scanning.19 When plain radiography is combined with CT for difficult-to-visualize vertebrae, almost all abnormalities will be identified. 19

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