Do I have a neck fracture?

How do I know if I fractured my neck? The Canadian C spine rules are a great way for you and your physician to know if you may have a fracture and if you need an X ray. See below:

The picture above is from the website

According to the New England Journal of Medicine in 2003:

Ottawa Rules - C-Spine


Parasthesias means numbness down the arms , C spine means the cervical spine/neck, MVC -motor vehicle collision, ED- Emergency Department, GCS scale- The Glasgow Coma Scale (helps determine the cognitive and awareness state of the patient)

The Canadian C spine rules had a Sensitivity  of 99% (Meaning high likelihood of ruling out cases of neck fracture)….(Remember in statistics clinically it is more important to rule something out.  Think along the lines of if somebody had cancer. You would want to rule that out… if you didn’t diagnose that  somebody had cancer the effects could be devastating. )

The Canadian C spine rules had a Specificity of 45% (Meaning likelihood of ruling in cases of neck fracture)

The Canadian C-Spine Rule versus the NEXUS Low-Risk Criteria in Patients with TraumaIan G. Stiell, M.D., M.Sc., Catherine M. Clement, R.N. et al N Engl J Med 2003; 349:2510-2518December 25, 2003



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