What is the role of CT in assessment of spinal trauma

Multiplanar CT is the imaging study of choice for evaluation of spine trauma. In many situations, the complex osseous anatomy of the spine is not visualized in sufficient detail on plain radiographs and CT scan is required to accurately diagnose and classify spinal fractures. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) plays a complementary role to CT for assessment of ligamentous injury and neurologic compression syndromes in the spine trauma patient (Fig. 12-2).

Figure 12-2. T12 burst fracture. A, Sagittal image. B, Axial image. (From Sethi MK, Schoenfeld AJ, Bono CM, et al. The evolution of thoracolumbar injury classification systems. Spine Journal 2009;9: 780-8, with permission.)
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