Comparison of Occipito-atlanto-axial Parameters on Computed Tomography in Pediatric Trauma Patients
AffiliationThe University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
DescriptionA Thesis submitted to The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.
AbstractSpinal cord injury without radiographic abnormality is a prevalent issue within the pediatric population. Children under the age of 10 are prone to sustaining injury at C1 to C4 because their biomechanical fulcrum exists between C2 and C3. The incidence of spinal cord injury in pediatric population has been estimated to be 4.6 per million per year or 1-2 % of all pediatric trauma cases. There may be subtle findings on computed tomography (CT) that may be able to identify occult cervical spine injury in pediatric trauma patients, which would be evident on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This study aims to measure various dimensions of the atlantoaxial and atlantooccipital joints in the pediatric cervical spine in patients with normal spines to detect subtle irregularities on CT scans to warrant further work up with an MRI in trauma patients. Additionally, having an accurate diagnosis will help guide the appropriate type and duration of treatment, which can range from conservative treatment with immobilization to surgery.