Thoraco-Lumbar X-ray Interpretation

  1. Check it’s an adequate view
  2. Know your anatomy
  3. Check the alignment
  4. Look for loss of vertebral height
  5. Look for widened inter-spinous or inter-pedicle distance and check the processes
  6. Check for translation/rotation or distraction
  7. Know the common types of fractures

Spinal Immobilization in Trauma Patients – The Facts

  • There is no high-level evidence that prehospital spinal immobilization positively impacts patient-oriented outcomes
    • Spinal Immobilization Does NOT Help Immobilize the Cervical Spine
    • Spinal Immobilization Does NOT Decrease Rates of Spinal Cord Injury
    • Spinal Immobilization Increases the Difficulty of Airway Management
    • Spinal Immobilization Can Cause Pressure Ulcers
    • Spinal Immobilization Changes the Physical Exam
    • Spinal Immobilization Worsens Pulmonary Function
    • Spinal Immobilization Increases Intracranial Pressure
  • There is no evidence that immobilizing awake, alert patients without deficits/complaints provides benefit
  • Selective spinal immobilization protocols can help identify patients at low risk for injury and avoid immobilization