Cervical spine collar
Cervical spine collars are a form of spine orthoses, typically used to immobilize the cervical spine of patients who are thought to be at risk of unstable spine injury (e.g. due to a motor vehicle accident).
Cervical spine collars are often utilized for trauma patients, and their presence (best seen on CT scout images/scanograms) indicates that there is a possibility of unstable cervical spine trauma. The collar is removed only if the CT is reported as negative, whilst for a select few patients with clinico-radiological discrepancy or equivocal findings, further assessment with MRI is necessary.
An important caveat is patients not wearing a cervical spine collar during the exam, but having potentially unstable cervical spine injury. In this case, it is crucial to communicate this to the referring clinician immediately, to begin immobilization and prevent further complications 1.
- 1. Marcela De La Hoz Polo, Amandeep Sandhu, Elika Kashef, et al. Medical and surgical devices in the emergency and trauma patient: what the radiologist should know, and how they can add value. (2020) The British Journal of Radiology. doi:10.1259/bjr.20200530