Two questions regarding findings on CT C-spine

by Suzanne
(Ohio )

1. Can any of the following CT findings be caused by a traumatic SCI?

a. Hypertrophy of the uncovertebral joints causing encroachment of the neural foramina at multiple levels.
b. Moderate to severe spine canal stenosis at C5-C6 level.
c. Discrete component of rotatory subluxation between C1 and C2.

2. Can any of the above findings cause paralysis?

Hello Suzanne,
Can you give me more details of the case. How old is the patient, when did the trauma occur, and is there old trauma too.

Where is this paralysis and how severe is it? Giving me as much detail as you can will enable to give me a more relevant reply to your questions.

Kind regards,

Dr B

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Apr 21, 2017
by: Suzanne

The injury was sustained falling from a standing position thinking he hit his face/head on a milk crate as he had a broken nose and bleeding from his nose as well as pericardial contusions.

Docs here are thinking it was a possible hyperextension/flexion injury. It is regarding my brother who is 68. He was totally normal prior to his fall, living independently. He had no previous issues, but I'm sure he had the age-related degenerative changes.

He went to a trauma center and those were the findings. The accident happened 2/29/16. He is total quad, had some movement of right arm until he became severely contracted, and now has severe stage IV/unstageable pressure ulcers, both hips to bone as well as sacrum.

Over the past year, I have joined a few SCI online groups as well as receiving information and talking with a peer mentor through the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation to learn more about his injury. I was doing some research the other night and ran across your site. Let me tell you, that site is amazingly informative! I've shared it numerous times already. I was hoping someone could shed some light on those CT scans, as the physicians here in our rural community are very ... well not sure what to say! Thank you for responding so promptly!!

Hello again Suzanne,
Seeing that your brother is a total quad we know the spinal cord injury was somewhere in the neck; it's highly likely that it aggravated a very old injury that caused spinal stenosis in his mid cervical spine; that's narrowing of the canal that the spinal cord traverses.

Has you brother had any cervical traction? You can get a relatively inexpensive device that will stretch out the neck at home. That's my only suggestion I'm afraid. I think it unlikely that chiropractic would have much of a contribution to make.

I wish I could be more positive; such a seemingly innocuous spill having such disastrous results. Life can be very tough.

Dr B

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