JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Is there an association between fractures of the cervical spine and first- and second-rib fractures?

OBJECTIVE: To investigate a potential association between cervical spine injury and first- and second-rib fractures.

METHODS: Retrospective review of the radiologic and medical records of 28 consecutive patients admitted to an acute spinal injury unit.

RESULTS: A total of 10 (36%) of the patients with cervical spine trauma also had fractures of either the first or second ribs. Eight of these 10 patients had a fracture or fracture-subluxation of the seventh cervical vertebra or the C6/7 segment.

CONCLUSION: Almost one-third of patients with traumatic cervical spine injury have an associated upper-rib fracture. The strongest association is between injury at the C7 level and first-rib fracture.

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