Pediatric spinal trauma is unique. The developing pediatric spinal column and spinal cord deal with direct impact and indirect acceleration/deceleration or shear forces very different compared to adult patients. In addition children are exposed to different kind of traumas. Moreover, each age group has its unique patterns of injury. Familiarity with the normal developing spinal anatomy and kind of traumas is essential to correctly diagnose injury. Various imaging modalities can be used. Ultrasound is limited to the neonatal time period; plain radiography and computer tomography are typically used in the acute work-up and give highly detailed information about the osseous lesions. Magnetic resonance imaging is more sensitive for disco-ligamentous and spinal cord injuries. Depending on the clinical presentation and timing of trauma the various imaging modalities will be employed. In the current review article, a summary of the epidemiology and distribution of posttraumatic lesions is discussed in the context of the normal anatomical variations due to progressing development of the child.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology