Current Trauma Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 12–18 | Cite as

Penetrating Neck Trauma: a Review

  • Tanya AnandEmail author
  • Andrew Tang
  • Bellal Joseph
Trauma to the Neck (Walt Biffl, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Trauma to the Neck


Purpose of Review

This review focuses on the management of penetrating neck trauma and its evolution over the last several decades.

Recent Findings

Our increased experience with high-resolution computed tomography has changed the management of penetrating neck trauma from an anatomically zone-based approach to a “no zone” approach. Physical signs and symptoms of vascular, airway, and digestive track injuries still guide the basis of further radiographic and surgical workup. With the advancement and greater availability of multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) technology, assessment of injuries has become easier and far more accurate. The hemodynamically stable patient may now be approached in a “no-zone” manner, and in certain cases managed safely with conservative measures.


Wartime experience and improved technology played major roles in the evolution of penetrating neck injury management. Aggressive surgical exploration had given way to selective management based on anatomical neck zones, to most currently a “no zone” approach.


Penetrating Neck Trauma Review No-zone Injury 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of ArizonaDivision of Trauma, Critical Care, Burns and Emergency SurgeryTucsonUSA

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