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Cervical Hyperextension Injuries

Shane L. Larson, MD and Jason H. Hyde, DO Reviewed 06/2018
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Class of neck injuries typically seen in rapid, forceful extension of the cervical spine

  • Usually from motor vehicle accidents (MVA—whiplash), falls, violence, or sports-related injuri...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

Usually acute presentation with mechanism of cervical hyperextension and complaints of neck pain, stiffness, or headaches ± neurologic symptoms 

PHYSICAL EXAM

  • External signs of trauma o...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Whiplash, WAD

    • Limited or no benefit to cervical collar. If provided, use for <72 hours.

    • No advantage to engaging early multiprofessional intervention (e.g., pain managemen...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Patient Monitoring

Follow patients with known injuries using serial imaging under the care of a specialist. 

PATIENT EDUCATION

ThinkFirst Foundation: http://www.thin...

REFERENCES

1
1 National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. Spinal Cord Injury: Facts and Figures at a Glance. Birmingham, AL: National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center; 2016.
2
2 Walton DM, MacD...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Franz RW, Willette PA, Wood MJ, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of diagnostic screening criteria for blunt cerebrovascular injuries. J Am Coll Surg.  2012;214(3):3...

CODES

ICD10

  • S13.4XXA Sprain of ligaments of cervical spine, initial encounter

  • S13.101A Dislocation of unspecified cervical vertebrae, init encntr

  • S14.109A Unsp injury at unsp level of cervical spinal cor...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Follow NEXUS or Canadian Cervical Spine rules on every patient with potential neck injury to determine need for imaging.

  • Always perform imaging if clinical judgment suggests the need to...

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