J Korean Soc Traumatol.  2019 Jun;32(2):80-85. 10.20408/jti.2019.004.

Comparison of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Operation Waiting Times in Patients Having Traumatic Cervical Spinal Cord Injury; with or without Bony Lesions

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea. wkmin@knu.ac.kr


To compare the time intervals to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and surgical treatment in patients having traumatic cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) with and without bony lesions.
Retrospectively analyzed adult patients visited Kyungpook National University Hospital and underwent surgical treatment for cervical SCI within 24 hours. The patients who were suspected of having cervical SCI underwent plain radiography and computed tomography (CT) upon arrival. After the initial evaluation, we evaluated the MRI findings to determine surgical treatment. Waiting times for MRI and surgery were evaluated.
Thirty-four patients were included. Patients' mean age was 57 (range, 23-80) years. Patients with definite bony lesions were classified into group A, and 10 cases were identified (fracture-dislocation, seven; fracture alone, three). Patients without bony lesions were classified into group B, and 24 cases were identified (ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament, 16; cervical spondylotic myelopathy, eight). Mean intervals between emergency room arrival and start of MRI were 93.60 (±60.08) minutes in group A and 313.75 (±264.89) minutes in group B, and the interval was significantly shorter in group A than in group B (p=0.01). The mean times to surgery were 248.4 (±76.03) minutes in group A and 560.5 (±372.56) minutes in group B, and the difference was statistically significant (p=0.001). The American Spinal Injury Association scale at the time of arrival showed that group A had a relatively severe neurologic deficit compared with group B (p=0.046). There was no statistical significance, but it seems to be good neurological recovery, if we start treatment sooner among patients treated within 24 hours (p=0.198).
If fracture or dislocation is detected by CT, cervical SCI can be easily predicted resulting in MRI and surgical treatment being performed more rapidly. Additionally, fracture or dislocation tends to cause more severe neurological damage, so it is assumed that rapid diagnosis and treatment are possible.


Spinal cord injuries; Retrospective studies; Spinal injuries; Diagnosis

MeSH Terms

Cervical Cord*
Emergency Service, Hospital
Longitudinal Ligaments
Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
Neurologic Manifestations
Retrospective Studies
Spinal Cord Diseases
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal Injuries
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