To provide certified athletic trainers, team physicians, emergency responders, and other health care professionals with recommendations on how to best manage a catastrophic cervical spine injury in the athlete.
The relative incidence of catastrophic cervical spine injury in sports is low compared with other injuries. However, cervical spine injuries necessitate delicate and precise management, often involving the combined efforts of a variety of health care providers. The outcome of a catastrophic cervical spine injury depends on the efficiency of this management process and the timeliness of transfer to a controlled environment for diagnosis and treatment.
Recommendations are based on current evidence pertaining to prevention strategies to reduce the incidence of cervical spine injuries in sport; emergency planning and preparation to increase management efficiency; maintaining or creating neutral alignment in the cervical spine; accessing and maintaining the airway; stabilizing and transferring the athlete with a suspected cervical spine injury; managing the athlete participating in an equipment-laden sport, such as football, hockey, or lacrosse; and considerations in the emergency department.
catastrophic injuries; emergency medicine; neurologic outcomes
Spinal pain is a common problem, and disability related to spinal pain has great consequence in terms of human suffering, medical costs and costs to society. The traditional approach to the non-surgical management of patients with spinal pain, as well as to research in spinal pain, has been such that the type of treatment any given patient receives is determined more by what type of practitioner he or she sees, rather than by diagnosis. Furthermore, determination of treatment depends more on the type of practitioner than by the needs of the patient. Much needed is an approach to clinical management and research that allows clinicians to base treatment decisions on a reliable and valid diagnostic strategy leading to treatment choices that result in demonstrable outcomes in terms of pain relief and functional improvement. The challenges of diagnosis in patients with spinal pain, however, are that spinal pain is often multifactorial, the factors involved are wide ranging, and for most of these factors there exist no definitive objective tests.
The theoretical model of a diagnosis-based clinical decision rule has been developed that may provide clinicians with an approach to non-surgical spine pain patients that allows for specific treatment decisions based on a specific diagnosis. This is not a classification scheme, but a thought process that attempts to identify most important features present in each individual patient. Presented here is a description of the proposed approach, in which reliable and valid assessment procedures are used to arrive at a working diagnosis which considers the disparate factors contributing to spinal pain. Treatment decisions are based on the diagnosis and the outcome of treatment can be measured.
In this paper, the theoretical model of a proposed diagnosis-based clinical decision rule is presented. In a subsequent manuscript, the current evidence for the approach will be systematically reviewed, and we will present a research strategy required to fill in the gaps in the current evidence, as well as to investigate the decision rule as a whole.
Comprehensive evaluation of the morphology of the spine and of the whole body is essential in order to correctly manage patients suffering from progressive idiopathic scoliosis. Although methodology of clinical and radiological examination is well described in manuals of orthopaedics, there is deficit of data which clinical and radiological parameters are considered in everyday practise. Recently, an increasing tendency to extend scoliosis examination beyond the measure of the Cobb angle can be observed, reflecting a more patient-oriented approach. Such evaluation often involves surface parameters, aesthetics, function and quality of life.
Aim of the study
To investigate current recommendations of experts on methodology of evaluation of the patient with spinal deformity, essentially idiopathic scoliosis.
Structured Delphi procedure for collecting and processing knowledge from a group of experts with a series of questionnaires and controlled opinion feedback was performed. Experience and opinions of the professionals - physicians and physiotherapists managing scoliosis patients - were studied. According to Delphi method a Meeting Questionnaire (MQ) has been developed, resulting from a preliminary Pre-Meeting Questionnaire (PMQ) which had been previously discussed and approved on line. The MQ was circulated among the SOSORT experts during Consensus Session on "Measurements" which took place at the Annual Meeting of the Society, totally 23 panellists being engaged. Clinical, radiological and surface topography parameters were checked for agreement.
90% agreement or more was reached in 35 items and superior than 75% agreement was reached in further 25 items. An evaluation form was proposed to be used by clinicians and researchers.
The consensus was reached on evaluation of the morphology of the patient with idiopathic scoliosis, comprising clinical, radiological and, to less extend, surface topography assessment. Considering the variety of parameters indicated by the panellists, the Cobb angle, yet the gold standard, can be seen neither as the unique nor the only decisive parameter in the management of patients with idiopathic scoliosis.
Dialysis-related spondyloarthropathy is a rare cause of spinal deformity and cervical myelopathy. Optimal management of cervical spine spondyloarthropathy often requires circumferential reconstructive surgery, because affected patients typically have both the anterior column and the facet joints compromised. The occasional presence of noncontiguous or "skip lesions" adds an additional level of complexity to surgical management, because decompression and fusion in an isolated segment of neural compression can worsen spine deformity by applying increased stress to adjacent cervical spine segments. We report two cases of hemodialysis patients who presented with cervical myelopathy and initially had anterior cervical discectomy or corpectomy. Because symptoms recurred due to hardware failure, both patients required posterior spine fusion as well. In retrospect, because of the hardware failure, both of these patients might have benefited from a circumferential (combined anterior and posterior) cervical spine reconstruction as their initial treatment.
Hemodialysis; spondyloarthropathy; surgical management.
Maxillofacial injuries are common and they occur in a variety of situations. All patients who undergo maxillofacial or head trauma, are presumed to sustain cervical spine injuries. Identification of cervical spine injuries is essential in management of trauma, because a missed injury can result in a catastrophic spinal cord injury. Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) guidelines have suggested that routine use of cervical spine radiographs may not be required in an asymptomatic patient. We are presenting here a case with a cervical spine injury with no clinical deficits, found incidentally on panoramic radiographs which were advised for evaluation of the mandibular fracture. We suggest that importance has to be given to examination of the cervical spine on the panoramic radiographs as well.
Cervical spine fracture; Mandibular fracture; Treatment planning
Objective: High-energy impact to the head, neck, and shoulder can result in cervical spine as well as brachial plexus injuries. Because cervical spine injuries are more common, this tends to be the initial focus for management. We present a case in which the initial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was somewhat misleading and a detailed neurological exam lead to the correct diagnosis.
Clinical presentation: A 19-year-old man presented to the hospital following a shoulder injury during football practice. The patient immediately complained of significant pain in his neck, shoulder, and right arm and the inability to move his right arm. He was stabilized in the field for a presumed cervical-spine injury and transported to the emergency department.
Intervention: Initial radiographic assessment (C-spine CT, right shoulder x-ray) showed no bony abnormality. MRI of the cervical-spine showed T2 signal change and cord swelling thought to be consistent with a cord contusion. With adequate pain control, a detailed neurological examination was possible and was consistent with an upper brachial plexus avulsion injury that was confirmed by CT myelogram. The patient failed to make significant neurological recovery and he underwent spinal accessory nerve grafting to the suprascapular nerve to restore shoulder abduction and external rotation, while the phrenic nerve was grafted to the musculocutaneous nerve to restore elbow flexion.
Conclusion: Cervical spinal-cord injuries and brachial plexus injuries can occur by the same high energy mechanisms and can occur simultaneously. As in this case, MRI findings can be misleading and a detailed physical examination is the key to diagnosis. However, this can be difficult in polytrauma patients with upper extremity injuries, head injuries or concomitant spinal-cord injury. Finally, prompt diagnosis and early surgical renerveration have been associated with better long-term recovery with certain types of injury.
The decision to opt for a particular internal fixation procedure of a traumatized unstable lower cervical spine should be based on analysis and implementation of scientific and clinical data on the biomechanics of the intact, the unstable and the implant-fixed spine. The following recommendations for surgical stabilization of the lower cervical spine seem, therefore, to be justified. Firstly, the surgical procedure should be to bring about decompression, realignment, and stability. Secondly, the anterior approach should be the primary and preferred one. With regard to surgical and positioning technique, this access clearly involves fewer problems than the posterior approach; if required, unrestricted additional cord decompression can take place; implant fixation is technically simple, and the fusion is under direct compression, thus allowing optimal fusion healing. The awareness of instability and type of implant permits functional therapy, above all for the paraplegic patient. Thirdly, for traumatic conditions, posterior methods should be reserved for exceptional indications. The restriction to this approach is that the anterior column must be intact and a multi-segmental fixation must be used. Posterior fixation seems, therefore, to be more appropriate for degenerative, rheumatoid or tumorous instabilities than for traumatic instabilities. The cerclage wire technique depends on intact osseous posterior elements, while after laminectomy only implants fixed with screws can create safe stability. The disadvantages of the posterior access for the proprioception of the cervical muscles and the subjective symptoms of the patient are known and must be taken into account. Fourthly, combined techniques are indicated for highly unstable or particularly complex injuries. On the cervicothoracic junction, or in cases of Bechterew's disease, the decision is justifiably made in favor of this technique, which can be performed as a one-stage or two-stage operation. Finally, whenever possible, selection of the implant should take into account the foreseeable developments in diagnostic procedures, and therefore, in view of the modern imaging techniques likely to be used in any follow-up examinations required later, the implant chosen should be made of titanium.
Lower cervical spine Trauma Instability Biomechanics Clinical practice
A practical approach for assessing patient education needs in the ambulatory care setting was developed, tested, and administered to 100 individuals with four non-acute clinical problems. The approach allowed collection, with a single instrument, of a range of information pertinent to the management of a wide mix of disorders. Knowledge about diagnosis, medications, nonmedicinal procedures, emergency situations, and prognosis was collected as well as self-estimation of knowledge and personal information needs.
While the assessment can be conducted by a physician, nurse, mid-level practitioner, or health educator in approximately five minutes, it can also be conducted in approximately ten minutes by other appropriately trained personnel. The information gained is useful to clinicians, health educators, and administrators. This practical approach to the assessment of patient learning needs is considered to have applicability for numerous conditions and a variety of clinical settings. The condensed patient learning needs assessment tool is provided (Table 1).
Physicians in Canadian emergency departments (EDs) annually treat 185,000 alert and stable trauma victims who are at risk for cervical spine (C-spine) injury. However, only 0.9% of these patients have suffered a cervical spine fracture. Current use of radiography is not efficient. The Canadian C-Spine Rule is designed to allow physicians to be more selective and accurate in ordering C-spine radiography, and to rapidly clear the C-spine without the need for radiography in many patients. The goal of this phase III study is to evaluate the effectiveness of an active strategy to implement the Canadian C-Spine Rule into physician practice. Specific objectives are to: 1) determine clinical impact, 2) determine sustainability, 3) evaluate performance, and 4) conduct an economic evaluation.
We propose a matched-pair cluster design study that compares outcomes during three consecutive 12-months "before," "after," and "decay" periods at six pairs of "intervention" and "control" sites. These 12 hospital ED sites will be stratified as "teaching" or "community" hospitals, matched according to baseline C-spine radiography ordering rates, and then allocated within each pair to either intervention or control groups. During the "after" period at the intervention sites, simple and inexpensive strategies will be employed to actively implement the Canadian C-Spine Rule. The following outcomes will be assessed: 1) measures of clinical impact, 2) performance of the Canadian C-Spine Rule, and 3) economic measures. During the 12-month "decay" period, implementation strategies will continue, allowing us to evaluate the sustainability of the effect. We estimate a sample size of 4,800 patients in each period in order to have adequate power to evaluate the main outcomes.
Phase I successfully derived the Canadian C-Spine Rule and phase II confirmed the accuracy and safety of the rule, hence, the potential for physicians to improve care. What remains unknown is the actual change in clinical behaviors that can be affected by implementation of the Canadian C-Spine Rule, and whether implementation can be achieved with simple and inexpensive measures. We believe that the Canadian C-Spine Rule has the potential to significantly reduce health care costs and improve the efficiency of patient flow in busy Canadian EDs.
There is uncertainty about the optimal approach to screen for clinically important cervical spine (C-spine) injury following blunt trauma. We conducted a systematic review to investigate the diagnostic accuracy of the Canadian C-spine rule and the National Emergency X-Radiography Utilization Study (NEXUS) criteria, 2 rules that are available to assist emergency physicians to assess the need for cervical spine imaging.
We identified studies by an electronic search of CINAHL, Embase and MEDLINE. We included articles that reported on a cohort of patients who experienced blunt trauma and for whom clinically important cervical spine injury detectable by diagnostic imaging was the differential diagnosis; evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of the Canadian C-spine rule or NEXUS or both; and used an adequate reference standard. We assessed the methodologic quality using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies criteria. We used the extracted data to calculate sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios and post-test probabilities.
We included 15 studies of modest methodologic quality. For the Canadian C-spine rule, sensitivity ranged from 0.90 to 1.00 and specificity ranged from 0.01 to 0.77. For NEXUS, sensitivity ranged from 0.83 to 1.00 and specificity ranged from 0.02 to 0.46. One study directly compared the accuracy of these 2 rules using the same cohort and found that the Canadian C-spine rule had better accuracy. For both rules, a negative test was more informative for reducing the probability of a clinically important cervical spine injury.
Based on studies with modest methodologic quality and only one direct comparison, we found that the Canadian C-spine rule appears to have better diagnostic accuracy than the NEXUS criteria. Future studies need to follow rigorous methodologic procedures to ensure that the findings are as free of bias as possible.
Cervical spine immobilization is an essential component of the ATLS® system. Inadequate training in the management of trauma calls and failure of early recognition can have disastrous consequences. Pre-hospital personnel are routinely involved more in the assessment and stabilization of patients in comparison to other health care professionals.
This case study and review highlights the importance of early recognition, assessment and correct stabilization of cervical spine injuries both in the field and during the initial assessment in hospital.
Inadequate assessment, immobilization and lack of standard guidelines on the management of suspected cervical spine trauma can result in secondary injury. Regular assessment and training of pre-hospital and medical personnel is essential to the proper management of these potentially devastating injuries.
Athletes; case report; guidelines; review; sports related injuries; traumatic cervical spine injury.
The aim of this study was to review the literature on cervical spine fractures.
The literature on the diagnosis, classification, and treatment of lower and upper cervical fractures and dislocations was reviewed.
Fractures of the cervical spine may be present in polytraumatized patients and should be suspected in patients complaining of neck pain. These fractures are more common in men approximately 30 years of age and are most often caused by automobile accidents. The cervical spine is divided into the upper cervical spine (occiput-C2) and the lower cervical spine (C3-C7), according to anatomical differences. Fractures in the upper cervical spine include fractures of the occipital condyle and the atlas, atlanto-axial dislocations, fractures of the odontoid process, and hangman's fractures in the C2 segment. These fractures are characterized based on specific classifications. In the lower cervical spine, fractures follow the same pattern as in other segments of the spine; currently, the most widely used classification is the SLIC (Subaxial Injury Classification), which predicts the prognosis of an injury based on morphology, the integrity of the disc-ligamentous complex, and the patient's neurological status. It is important to correctly classify the fracture to ensure appropriate treatment. Nerve or spinal cord injuries, pseudarthrosis or malunion, and postoperative infection are the main complications of cervical spine fractures.
Fractures of the cervical spine are potentially serious and devastating if not properly treated. Achieving the correct diagnosis and classification of a lesion is the first step toward identifying the most appropriate treatment, which can be either surgical or conservative.
Cervical Atlas; Cervical Vertebrae; Spinal Fractures; Classification; Therapeutics
A temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a very common problem affecting up to 33% of individuals within their lifetime. TMD is often viewed as a repetitive motion disorder of the masticatory structures and has many similarities to musculoskeletal disorders of other parts of the body. Treatment often involves similar principles as other regions as well. However, patients with TMD and concurrent cervical pain exhibit a complex symptomatic behavior that is more challenging than isolated TMD symptoms. Although routinely managed by medical and dental practitioners, TMD may be more effectively cared for when physical therapists are involved in the treatment process. Hence, a listing of situations when practitioners should consider referring TMD patients to a physical therapist can be provided to the practitioners in each physical therapist's region. This paper should assist physical therapists with evaluating, treating, insurance billing, and obtaining referrals for TMD patients.
Dentistry; Physical Therapy; Temporomandibular Disorders; Temporomandibular Joint
As millions of emergency department (ED) visits each year include wound care, emergency care providers must remain experts in acute wound management. The variety of acute wounds presenting to the ED challenge the physician to select the most appropriate management to facilitate healing. A complete wound history along with anatomic and specific medical considerations for each patient provides the basis of decision making for wound management. It is essential to apply an evidence‐based approach and consider each wound individually in order to create the optimal conditions for wound healing.
A comprehensive evidence‐based approach to acute wound management is an essential skill set for any emergency physician or acute care practitioner. This review provides an overview of current evidence and addresses frequent pitfalls.
A systematic review of the literature for acute wound management was performed.
A structured MEDLINE search was performed regarding acute wound management including established wound care guidelines. The data obtained provided the framework for evidence‐based recommendations and current best practices for wound care.
Acute wound management varies based on the wound location and characteristics. No single approach can be applied to all wounds; however, a systematic approach to acute wound care integrated with current best practices provides the framework for exceptional wound management.
Acute tissue injury; Wound assessment; Wound irrigation; Wound closure; Assessment; Cleansing; Closure; Irrigation; Wound
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is generally easy to diagnose when the characteristic findings of the “bamboo” spine and fused sacroiliac joints are present on radiographs. Unfortunately, these changes are usually seen late in the disease after tremendous suffering has been incurred by the patient. Diagnostic delay averages seven to ten years. Historically, once the diagnosis was made, the treatment options were often inadequate or poorly tolerated in many individuals. This condition most often starts in early adulthood when people are typically in the earlier stages of their careers, resulting in diminished workforce participation and decreased quality of life. If an individual has a family physician, this might be the first encounter with a healthcare provider. Quite often, the initial practitioner is sought at a public walk-in clinic or chiropractic office.
In recent years, there have been two major developments in the management of AS that make earlier diagnosis possible and offer the hope of alleviating pain and preventing structural changes that result in loss of function. These developments include the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to visualize the inflammatory changes in the sacroiliac joint and the axial spine, and the demonstration that tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocking agents are highly efficacious in reducing spinal inflammation and possibly in slowing radiographic progression.
This review outlines diagnostic strategies that can help identify AS in its earlier stages. Special attention is focused on treatment advances, including the use of anti-TNF agents, and how these medications have been incorporated into clinical recommendations for daily use.
spondylitis; diagnosis; primary care
The importance of hypertension as a risk factor and the size of the hypertensive population have created a demand for care of this problem. Nurse practitioners are effective managers of simple hypertension; however, high blood pressure often coexists with other chronic illnesses. Data are not yet available to support the role of the nurse practitioner in the management of more complex patients. The authors have examined the characteristics of patients and the processes and outcomes of care in a hypertension clinic in which physicians and nurse practitioners share responsibilities for patient care. The results show that the nurses are managing patients as complex as those seeing only physicians and are achieving better blood pressure control. The nurses successfully identify important problems and refer appropriately. Thus, nurse practitioners, with physician support, can serve as primary managers for even complex patients. Use of this model will significantly increase the resources available for care of hypertension.
This paper provides a detailed overview and discussion of anaesthesia in patients with mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS), the evaluation of risk factors in these patients and their anaesthetic management, including emergency airway issues. MPS represents a group of rare lysosomal storage disorders associated with an array of clinical manifestations. The high prevalence of airway obstruction and restrictive pulmonary disease in combination with cardiovascular manifestations poses a high anaesthetic risk to these patients. Typical anaesthetic problems include airway obstruction after induction or extubation, intubation difficulties or failure [can’t intubate, can’t ventilate (CICV)], possible emergency tracheostomy and cardiovascular and cervical spine issues. Because of the high anaesthetic risk, the benefits of a procedure in patients with MPS should always be balanced against the associated risks. Therefore, careful evaluation of anaesthetic risk factors should be made before the procedure, involving evaluation of airways and cardiorespiratory and cervical spine problems. In addition, information on the specific type of MPS, prior history of anaesthesia, presence of cervical instability and range of motion of the temporomandibular joint are important and may be pivotal to prevent complications during anaesthesia. Knowledge of these risk factors allows the anaesthetist to anticipate potential problems that may arise during or after the procedure. Anaesthesia in MPS patients should be preferably done by an experienced (paediatric) anaesthetist, supported by a multidisciplinary team (ear, nose, throat surgeon and intensive care team), with access to all necessary equipment and support.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10545-012-9563-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
No randomized control trial to date has studied the use of cervical spine management strategies in cases of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) at risk for cervical spine instability solely due to damaged ligaments. A computer algorithm is used to decide between four cervical spine management strategies. A model assumption is that the emergency room evaluation shows no spinal deficit and a computerized tomogram of the cervical spine excludes the possibility of fracture of cervical vertebrae. The study's goal is to determine cervical spine management strategies that maximize brain injury functional survival while minimizing quadriplegia.
The severity of TBI is categorized as unstable, high risk and stable based on intracranial hypertension, hypoxemia, hypotension, early ventilator associated pneumonia, admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and age. Complications resulting from cervical spine management are simulated using three decision trees. Each case starts with an amount of primary and secondary brain injury and ends as a functional survivor, severely brain injured, quadriplegic or dead. Cervical spine instability is studied with one-way and two-way sensitivity analyses providing rankings of cervical spine management strategies for probabilities of management complications based on QALYs. Early collar removal received more QALYs than the alternative strategies in most arrangements of these comparisons. A limitation of the model is the absence of testing against an independent data set.
When clinical logic and components of cervical spine management are systematically altered, changes that improve health outcomes are identified. In the absence of controlled clinical studies, the results of this comparative computer assessment show that early collar removal is preferred over a wide range of realistic inputs for this subset of traumatic brain injury. Future research is needed on identifying factors in projecting awakening from coma and the role of delirium in these cases.
Traumatic injuries of the spine and spinal cord are common and potentially devastating lesions. We present a comprehensive overview of the classification of vertebral fractures, based on morphology (e.g., wedge, (bi)concave, or crush fractures) or on the mechanism of injury (flexion-compression, axial compression, flexion-distraction, or rotational fracture-dislocation lesions). The merits and limitations of different imaging techniques are discussed, including plain X-ray films, multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the detection. There is growing evidence that state-of-the-art imaging techniques provide answers to some of the key questions in the management of patients with spine and spinal cord trauma: is the fracture stable or unstable? Is the fracture recent or old? Is the fracture benign or malignant? In summary, we show that high-quality radiological investigations are essential in the diagnosis and management of patients with spinal trauma.
Spine, trauma; Spine, fractures; Spine, injuries; Spine, MR; Spine, CT
Neoplastic cervical spine lesions are seen infrequently by the spinal surgeon. The surgical management of these tumors, particularly with associated neurovascular compromise, is challenging in terms of achieving proper resection and spinal stabilization and ensuring no subsequent recurrence or failure of fixation. In this report we highlight some of the problems encountered in the surgical management of tumors involving the cervical spine with techniques applied for gross total resection of the tumor without compromising the vertebral arteries. Ten patients with neoplastic cervical spine lesions were managed in our study. The common cardinal presentation was neck and arm pain with progressive cervical radiculo-myelopathy. All patients had plain X-rays, computer tomography scans, and magnetic resonance imaging of the cervical spine. Digital subtraction or magnetic resonance angiograms were performed on both vertebral arteries when the pathology was found to be in proximity to the vertebral artery. When a tumor blush with feeders was evident, endovascular embolization to minimize intraoperative bleeding was also considered. A single approach or a combined anterior cervical approach for corpectomy and cage-with-plate fixation and posterior decompression for resection of the rest of the tumor with spinal fixation was then accomplished as indicated. All cases made a good neurological recovery and had no neural or vascular complications. On the long-term follow-up of the survivors there was no local recurrence or surgical failure. Only three patients died: two from the primary malignancy and one from pulmonary embolism. This report documents a safe and reliable way to deal with neoplastic cervical spine lesions in proximity to vertebral arteries with preservation of both arteries.
cervical spine tumors; spinal fixation; vertebral artery; radical resection; vascular complications.
Background: Spine pain is a common presenting complaint of patients who visit physicians and although spine cancer accounts for a very small percentage of cases of back pain, metastasis is a relatively common cause of spine pain in the elderly. The presentation of patients with spine cancers is highly variable, and in many cases the clinical findings of benign and cancerous causes of spine pain can be similar, often confounding the clinical picture. This can create difficulties in interpreting the clinical data available to the physician, particularly with a disease with such a devastating prognosis.
Objective: This manuscript discusses the more common causes of malignant lesions of the spine, including an overview of the incidence/prevalence data and clinical features of both primary and secondary malignancies. It also provides the reader with a clinical overview of patients with spine cancer.
Discussion: It is important to appreciate the myriad epidemiologic and clinical features of primary and secondary spine cancers. Patients with malignant skeletal lesions may be asymptomatic in the area of cancerous bone disease and, as a consequence, these lesions can be overlooked. This may result in dismal consequences for the patient, given the generally poor prognosis associated with spine cancers. Knowledge of the features discussed in this paper will assist the clinician in appropriately raising his/her index of suspicion for spine cancer in suitable clinical circumstances.
Spine; pain; cancer; review
The aim of the article was to present an overview of the management strategies of dentin hypersensitivity (DHS) and summarize and discuss the therapeutic options.
Materials and methods
A PubMed literature search was conducted to identify articles dealing with dentin hypersensitivity prophylaxis and treatment. We focussed on meta-analyses of available or controlled clinical trials.
DHS therapy should start with noninvasive individual prophylactic home-care approaches. In-office therapy follows with nerve desensitizing, precipitating, or plugging agents. If the hypersensitivity persists, depending on the hard and soft tissue components at reevaluation, i.e., presence or absence of cervical lesions and the gingival contour, adhesive restorations including sealing or mucogingival surgery may be an option. They allow for the establishment of a physicomechanical barrier. As the placebo effect may play an important role, adequate patient management strategies and positive reinforcement may improve the management of DHS in the future.
Lifelong maintenance under the premise of strict control of the causative factors is crucial in the management of DHS.
Clinicians are faced with a broad spectrum of therapeutic options. Therapy should not only focus on pain reduction or better elimination but also on the modification of the exposed cervical dentin area based on the defect type.
Dentin hypersensitivity; Therapy; Review
Involvement of the cervical spine is common in rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical presentation can be variable, and symptoms may be due to neck pain or compressive myeloradiculopathy. We discuss the pathology, grading systems, clinical presentation, indications for surgery and surgical management of cervical myelopathy related to rheumatoid arthritis in this paper. We describe our surgical technique and results. We recommend early consultation for surgical management when involvement of the cervical spine is suspected in rheumatoid arthritis. Even patients with advanced cervical myelopathy should be discussed for surgical treatment, since in our experience improvement in function after surgery is common.
Congenital spinal abnormalities can easily be misdiagnosed on plain radiographs. Additional imaging is warranted in doubtful cases, especially in a setting of acute trauma.
This patient presented at the emergency unit of our university hospital after a motor vehicle accident and was sent to our radiology department for imaging of the cervical spine. Initial clinical examination and plain radiographs of the cervical spine were performed but not conclusive. Additional CT of the neck helped establish the right diagnosis.
CT as a three-dimensional imaging modality with the possibility of multiplanar reconstructions allows for the exact diagnosis and exclusion of acute traumatic lesions of the cervical spine, especially in cases of doubtful plain radiographs and when congenital spinal abnormalities like absent cervical spine pedicle with associated spina bifida may insinuate severe trauma.
Dysphagia is a common presentation in older people. Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis affecting the cervical spine is an uncommon cause of dysphagia and may be overlooked.
We present the case of an 88-year-old man with dysphagia and weight loss. Initial investigation with upper gastrointestinal endoscopy was inconclusive. A diagnosis of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis as a cause for dysphagia was eventually made using video fluoroscopy. This showed a bony prominence impeding swallow at the level of C3. The patient was unfit for surgical management so a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube was inserted for feeding.
The diagnosis of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis involving the cervical spine often goes unrecognised as a cause of dysphagia despite its prevalence in the elderly population. Diagnosis is made using cervical radiographs, barium swallow and computed tomography. There is a risk of perforation with endoscopy in patients who have cervical diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis. Conservative management includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and a modified diet. Surgery may be considered in certain patients where conservative management fails.