Subaxial cervical spine injury classification

The subaxial cervical spine injury classification (SLIC) and severity score is a system for cervical spine trauma that helps guide treatment and predicts prognosis.


Three parameters are assessed, two being radiologic determined and the last being a clinical assessment.

Injury morphology
Discoligamentous complex
  • intact: 0 points
  • indeterminate (e.g. isolated interspinous widening, MRI signal change only): 1 point
  • disrupted (e.g. disc space widening, facet perch or dislocation): 2 points
Neurological status
  • intact: 0 points
  • root injury: 1 point
  • complete cord injury: 2 points
  • incomplete cord injury: 3 points
  • incomplete with ongoing cord compression: 4 points


  • ≤ 3 points: nonsurgical
  • 4 points: indeterminate
  • ≥ 5 points: surgical

Article information

rID: 66874
System: Trauma, Spine
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Subaxial cervical spine injury classification (SLIC)

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: SLIC table
    Drag here to reorder.
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