Spinal Cord Trauma

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Presentation Transcript

Spinal and Spinal Cord Trauma : 

Spinal and Spinal Cord Trauma EMS Professions Temple College

Spinal Injuries : 

Spinal Injuries Morbidity and Mortality Anatomy: Spine & Spinal Cord General Assessment Spinal Cord Injuries Management Spine Injury Clearance Injury Prevention

Incidence of SCI : 

Incidence of SCI 10,000 - 20,000 spinal cord injuries per year Incidence ~ 82% occur in men ~ 61% occur in 16-30 yoa Common causes MVC (48%) Falls (21%) Penetrating injuries (15%) Sports injuries (14%)

Morbidity & Mortality : 

Morbidity & Mortality 40% of trauma patients with neuro deficits will have temporary or permanent SCI Many more vertebral injuries that do not result in cord injury Most commonly injured vertebrae C5-C7 C1-C2 T12-L2

Prevention : 

Prevention Education in proper handling and movement can decrease SCI Primary Injury Prevention Public Education EMS Community Service Projects Secondary Injury Prevention First Responder Care EMS Care Tertiary Hospital Care

Anatomy Review : 

Anatomy Review 33 Vertebrae Spine supported by pelvis key ligaments and muscles connect head to pelvis anterior longitudinal ligament anterior portion of the vertebral body major source of stability protects against hyperextension posterior longitudinal ligament posterior vertebral body within the vertebral canal prevents hyperflexion

Anatomy Review : 

Anatomy Review Bone Structure of the Spine Cervical Lumbar Thoracic Sacral/Coccyx

Anatomy Review : 

Anatomy Review Cervical Spine 7 vertebrae very flexible C1: also known as the atlas C2: also known as the axis Thoracic Spine 12 vertebrae ribs connected to spine provides rigid framework of thorax

Anatomy Review : 

Anatomy Review Lumbar Spine 5 vertebrae largest vertebral bodies carries most of the body’s weight Sacrum 5 fused vertebrae common to spine and pelvis Coccyx 4 fused vertebrae “tailbone”

Anatomy Review : 

Anatomy Review Vertebral body posterior portion forms part of vertebral foramen increases in size from cervical to sacral spinous process transverse process Vertebral foramen opening for spinal cord Intervertebral disk shock absorber (fibrocartilage)

Anatomy Review : 

Anatomy Review Ends at ~ L-2 cauda equina Blood supplied by vertebral and spinal arteries Gray matter: core pattern resembling butterfly White matter: longitudinal bundles of myelinated nerve fibers

Anatomy Review : 

Anatomy Review Spinal Cord Thoracic and lumbar levels supply sympathetic nervous system fibers Cervical and sacral levels supply parasympathetic nervous system fibers

Spinal Cord Pathways : 

Spinal Cord Pathways Ascending Nerve Tracts (sensory input) carry impulses from body structures and sensory information to the brain Posterior column (dorsal) conveys nerve impulses for proprioception, discriminative touch, pressure, vibration, & two-point discrimination cross over at the medulla from one side to the other e.g. impulses from left side of body ascend to the right side of the brain

Spinal Cord Pathways : 

Spinal Cord Pathways Spinothalmic Tracts (anterolateral) Convey nerve impulse for sensing pain, temperature & light touch Impulses cross over in the spinal cord not the brain Lateral tracts conduct impulses of pain and temperature to the brain Anterior tracts carry impulses of light touch and pressure

Spinal Cord Pathways : 

Spinal Cord Pathways Descending Motor Tracts (motor output) conveys motor impulses from brain to the body Pyramidal tracts: Corticospinal & Corticobulbar Corticospinal tracts destined to cause precise voluntary movement and skeletal muscle activity lateral tract crosses over at medulla

Spinal Cord Pathways : 

Spinal Cord Pathways Descending Motor Tracts (motor output) Extrapyramidal tracts rubrospinal, pontine reticulospinal, medullary reticulospinal, lateral vestibulospinal and tectospinal Pontine reticular and lateral vestibular have powerful excitatory effects on extensor muscles brain stem lesions above these two areas but below midbrain cause dramatic increase in extensor tone called decerebrate rigidity or posturing Reticulospinal: impulses to control muscle tone & sweat gland activity Rubrospinal: impulses to control muscle coordination & control of posture

Example Motor and Sensory Pathways : 

Example Motor and Sensory Pathways To thalamus and cerebral cortex (sensory) Brain Stem Spinal Cord Pain - Temp Proprioception (conscious) Spinothalmic tract Example Motor Pathway (corticospinal tract) LMN Motor Cortex Corticospinal tract Posterior column

Spinal Nerves : 

Spinal Nerves 31 pairs originate from the spinal cord Carry both sensation and motor function Named according to level of spine from where they arise Cervical 1-8 Thoracic 1-12 Lumbar 1-5 Sacral 1-5 Coccygeal 1

Motor & Sensory Dermatomes : 

Motor & Sensory Dermatomes Dermatome Specific area in which the spinal nerve travels or controls Useful in assessment of specific level SCI Plexus peripheral nerves rejoin and function as group Cervical Plexus diaphragm and neck

Dermatomes : 

Dermatomes C3,4 motor:shoulder shrug sensory: top of shoulder C3, 4, 5 motor: diaphragm sensory: top of shoulder C5, 6 motor:elbow flexion sensory: thumb C7 motor: elbow, wrist, finger extension sensory: middle finger C8, T1 motor: finger abduction & adduction sensory: little finger T4 motor: level of nipple T10 motor: level of umbilicus

Dermatomes : 

Dermatomes L1, 2 motor: hip flexion sensory: inguinal crease L3,4 motor: quadriceps sensory: medial thigh, calf L5 motor: great toe, foot dorsiflexion sensory: lateral calf S1 motor: knee flexion sensory: lateral foot S1, 2 motor: foot plantar flexion S2,3,4 motor: anal sphincter tone sensory: perianal

SCI Overview : 

SCI Overview

Assessment of Spinal Injury : 

Assessment of Spinal Injury Mechanism of Injury - No longer consider all MOIs lead to SCI Severe mechanism of injury is consistent with SCI Other MOIs don’t correlate to the risk of SCI ED & Field Clearance protocols now commonly used Exam and History findings help identify the potential SCI Do No Harm!

Assessment of Spinal Injury : 

Assessment of Spinal Injury Traditional Approach Based on MOI Emphasis on spinal immobilization in unconscious trauma victims patients with a “motion” injury No clear clinical guidelines or specific criteria to evaluate for SCI Signs pain, tenderness, painful movement deformity, injury over spinal area, shock paresthesias, paresis, priapism

Assessment of Spinal Injury : 

Assessment of Spinal Injury Traditional Approach Not always practical to “immobilize” every “motion” injury Most suspected injuries were moved to a normal anatomical position No exclusion criteria used for moving patients

SCI General Assessment : 

SCI General Assessment Consider Mechanism of Injury & Kinematics Positive MOI  Should Require SMR high speed motor vehicle collision fall greater than 3 times the patient’s height violent situations occurring near the spine stabbing gun shot sports injury (with force or velocity) confounding factors such as osteoporosis, extreme age other high impact, high force or high velocity conditions involving the head, spine or trunk

SCI General Assessment : 

SCI General Assessment Consider Mechanism of Injury & Kinematics Negative MOI  Probably Do Not Require SMR force or impact does not suggest a potential spinal injury dropped a rock on foot twisted ankle while running isolated musculoskeletal injury simple fall from standing position low speed motor vehicle collision

SCI General Assessment : 

SCI General Assessment ABCs Airway and/or Breathing impairment Inability to maintain airway Apnea Diaphragmatic breathing Cardiovascular impairment Neurogenic Shock Hypoperfusion

SCI General Assessment : 

SCI General Assessment Neurologic Status: Level of Consciousness Brain injury also? Cooperative No impairment (drugs, alcohol) Understands & Recalls events surrounding injury No Distracting injuries No difficulty in communication

SCI General Assessment : 

SCI General Assessment Assess Function & Sensation Palpate over each spinous process Motor function Shrug shoulders Spread fingers of both hands and keep apart with force “Hitchhike” {T1} Foot plantar flexors (gas pedal) {S1,2} Sensation (Position and Pain) weakness, numbness, paresthesia pain (pinprick), sharp vs dull, symmetry Priapism

Spinal Cord Injuries : 

Spinal Cord Injuries Forces Direct traumatic injury stab or gunshot directly to the spine Excessive Movement acceleration deceleration deformation Directional Forces flexion, hyperflexion extension, hyperextension rotational lateral bending vertical compression distraction

Spinal Cord Injuries : 

Spinal Cord Injuries Can have “spinal column injury” with or without “spinal cord injury”

Spinal Cord Injuries : 

Spinal Cord Injuries Primary Injury occurs at the time of injury may result in cord compression direct cord injury interruption in cord blood supply Secondary Injury occurs after initial injury may result from swelling/inflammation ischemia movement of body fragments

Spinal Cord Injuries : 

Spinal Cord Injuries Cord concussion & Cord contusion temporary loss of cord-mediated function Cord compression decompression required to minimize permanent injury Laceration permanent injury dependent on degree of damage Hemorrhage may result in local ischemia

Spinal Cord Injuries : 

Spinal Cord Injuries Cord transection Complete all tracts disrupted cord mediated functions below transection are permanently lost determined ~ 24 hours post injury possible results quadriplegia paraplegia

Terminology : 

Terminology Paraplegia loss of motor and/or sensory function in thoracic, lumbar or sacral segments of SC (arm function is spared) Quadriplegia loss of motor and/or sensory function in the cervical segments of SC

Spinal Cord Injuries : 

Spinal Cord Injuries Cord transection Incomplete some tracts and cord mediated functions remain intact potential for recovery of function Possible syndromes Brown-Sequard Syndrome Anterior Cord Syndrome Central Cord Syndrome

Brown Sequard Syndrome : 

Brown Sequard Syndrome Incomplete Cord Injury Injury to one side of the cord (Hemisection) Often due to penetrating injury or vertebral dislocation Complete damage to all spinal tracts on affected side Good prognosis for recovery

Brown Sequard Syndrome : 

Brown Sequard Syndrome Exam Findings Ipsilateral loss of motor function motion, position, vibration, and light touch Contralateral loss of sensation to pain and temperature Bladder and bowel dysfunction (usually short term)

Anterior Cord Syndrome : 

Anterior Cord Syndrome Anterior Spinal Artery Syndrome Supplies the anterior 2/3 of the spinal cord to the upper thoracic region caused by bony fragments or pressure on spinal arteries

Anterior Cord Syndrome : 

Anterior Cord Syndrome Exam Findings Variable loss of motor function and sensitivity to pinprick and temperature loss of motor function and sensation to pain, temperature and light touch Proprioception (position sense) and vibration are preserved

Central Cord Syndrome : 

Central Cord Syndrome Usually occurs with a hyperextension of the cervical region Exam Findings weakness or paresthesias in upper extremities but normal strength in lower extremities varying degree of bladder dysfunction

Cauda Equina Syndrome : 

Cauda Equina Syndrome Injury to nerves within the spinal cord as they exit the lumbar and sacral regions Usually fractures below L2 Specific dysfunction depends on level of injury Exam Findings Flaccid-type paralysis of lower body Bladder and bowel impairment

Neurogenic Shock : 

Neurogenic Shock Temporary loss of autonomic function of the cord at the level of injury Usually results from cervical or high thoracic injury Does not always involve permanent primary injury Effects may be temporary and resolve in hours to weeks Goal is to avoid secondary injury

Neurogenic Shock : 

Neurogenic Shock Presentation Flaccid paralysis distal to injury site Loss of autonomic function hypotension or relative hypotension vasodilation loss of bladder and bowel control priapism loss of thermoregulation warm, pink, dry below injury site relative bradycardia may have class SNS response presentation above injury

Autonomic Hyperreflexia Syndrome : 

Autonomic Hyperreflexia Syndrome Associated with SCI patients (usually T-6 or above) some time after initial injury Vasculature has adapted to loss of sympathetic tone Blood pressure normalized No vasodilation response to increased BP ANA reflexively responds with arteriolar spasm increased BP stimulates PNS results in bradycardia peripheral and visceral vessels unable to dilate

Autonomic Hyperreflexia Syndrome : 

Autonomic Hyperreflexia Syndrome Presentation Paroxysmal hypertension, possible extreme headache blurred vision sweating and flushed skin above level of injury increased nasal congestion nausea bradycardia distended bladder or rectum

Non-Traumatic Conditions : 

Non-Traumatic Conditions Low Back Pain (LBP) 60-90% of population experience some form of LBP Very small number due to sciatica (lumbar nerve root) Most causes can not be specifically diagnosed Risk Factors repetitious lifting or straining chronic exposure to vibration (e.g. vehicle) osteoporosis age

Non-Traumatic Conditions : 

Non-Traumatic Conditions Low Back Pain (LBP) Causes tumor prolapsed disk bursitis degenerative joint disease problems with spinal mobility inflammation caused by infection fractures ligament strains

Non-Traumatic Conditions : 

Non-Traumatic Conditions Low Back Pain (LBP) Degenerative Disk disease common over 50 years of age narrowing of the disk biochemical alterations of intervertebral disk Herniated intervertebral Disk tear in the posterior rim of capsule enclosing the gelatinous center of the disk trauma, degenerative disk disease, improper lifting commonly affects L-5, S-1 and L-4, L-5 disks

Management of SCI : 

Management of SCI Primary Goal Prevent secondary injury Stabilization of the spine begins in the initial assessment Treat the spine as a long bone Secure joint above and below Caution with “partial” spine splinting Dr. Robert’s Rule: All or None Immobilization vs Motion Restriction

Management of SCI : 

Management of SCI Neutral positioning of head and neck if at all possible allows for the most space for cord most stable position for spinal column don’t force it

Management of SCI : 

Management of SCI Cervical Motion Restriction Manual method Rigid collar comes later Interim device (KED) Move to long board or full body vacuum splint Manual continues until trunk and head secured “CID” Don’t use sand bags or IV fluid bags as head blocks Tape works wonders! Improvise with blanket rolls

Management of SCI : 

Management of SCI Don’t forget the Padding Maintains anatomical position Limits movement on board especially during transport on board or in vehicle fill all the voids curvature of the lower back is normal - fill it pillows, blankets, towels Tape along (even duct tape) is not enough

Management of SCI : 

Management of SCI Securing to the Board Straps, Tape, Cravats, whatever Torso first then legs and feet and head Even patients extricated with a KED are secured to the board

Management of SCI : 

Management of SCI Pediatric Patient Considerations Elevate the entire torso if large occiput Pad underneath Short board underneath Vacuum mattress Lots of voids to fill Difficult to find a correctly sized rigid collar Improvise with horse collar blanket or towel rolls

Management of SCI : 

Management of SCI Helmeted Patients Removal should be limited to emergent need for access to airway and ventilation Leave in place if good fit with little or no head movement within no impending airway or breathing problems can perform spinal motion restriction with helmet on no interference in airway assessment or management no cardiac arrest

Management of SCI : 

Management of SCI Helmeted Patients Types of Helmets Sports (football, hockey) Shoulder pads and helmet go together Racing (motorcycle, car racer) Recreational (motorcycle, bicycle) Various helmets create different problems for patient and for removal

Management of SCI : 

Management of SCI General Manual Spinal Motion Restriction ABCs Increase FiO2 Assist ventilations prn IV Access & fluids titrated to BP ~ 90-100 mm Hg Consider High Dose methylprednisolone [SoluMedrol]: 30 mg/kg bolus over 15 mins then infusion after 1st hour Look for other injuries: “Life over Limb” Transport to appropriate SCI center

Clearing Protocols : 

Clearing Protocols Spinal Clearance First initiated in Maine with a state-wide protocol Now much more common in US Current Practice Assess scene and MOI Assess neuro status Immobilize Most MOIs Prevent further injury CYA No 100% method to rule out in the field fear of litigation devastating consequences possible

What’s Wrong with Immobilizing Nearly Everyone? : 

What’s Wrong with Immobilizing Nearly Everyone? Concern for secondary injuries resulting from immobilization And, Increases scene time Increased pain to patient Impaired ventilatory ability Increases safety risk to providers Increased risk of soft tissue injury Difficulties in ED exam Several published studies support the conclusion that many persons are immobilized when it is clearly not necessary patients do experience adverse effects from immobilization field screening tools can be developed and have been proven effective

When should the screening tool be used? : 

When should the screening tool be used? One of three paths is chosen: Positive or Obvious Severe Mechanism Violent impact High likelihood of spinal injury Negative or Obviously Minimal Mechanism No reasonable probability of spinal injury Uncertain Mechanism (Very Common) Injury may or may not be possible Difficult to determine Then, use screening tool or algorithm

“Clearing” Protocols - Dr. Roberts : 

“Clearing” Protocols - Dr. Roberts No significant MOI or evidence of spine injury No neck or back pain (Palpate all) Normal Neuro Exam (no motor/sensory losses) Normal Level of Consciousness Adult, Reliable Patient w/o anxiety reaction or “normally” abnormal mental status No ETOH or drugs No language barriers No distracting injuries or penetrating inj near spine

“Clearing” Protocols - General Consensus : 

“Clearing” Protocols - General Consensus Absence of pain or tenderness of the spine Lack of neurologic deficits Normal level of consciousness Includes ability to understand cause & effect Able to make own healthcare decisions No evidence of alcohol or drug use No distracting injuries

Other Topics : 

Other Topics Rapid Extrication Log Roll position of the arms Diving Incidents