Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of cervical spine radiography in injured children under 11 years old, and suggest improvements.
Methods: Retrospective survey of radiographs and accident and emergency records for children examined during a one year period in a large teaching hospital.
Results: No cervical spine fractures occurred in this age group during the year. The recorded clinical findings did not always justify radiography.
Conclusions: Clinical examination appears undervalued by those assessing injured children and is poorly recorded. Radiography can be used more selectively. Initial assessment using a single lateral projection can be followed in doubtful cases by cross sectional imaging.
- cervical vertebrae
- retrospective study
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Conflicts of interest: none.