European Spine Journal

, Volume 22, Issue 10, pp 2228–2231

Clinical relationship between cervical spinal canal stenosis and traumatic cervical spinal cord injury without major fracture or dislocation

  • Tsuneaki Takao
  • Yuichiro Morishita
  • Seiji Okada
  • Takeshi Maeda
  • Fumihiko Katoh
  • Takayoshi Ueta
  • Eiji Mori
  • Itaru Yugue
  • Osamu Kawano
  • Keiichiro Shiba
Original Article



The purpose of the study was to evaluate the clinical relationship between cervical spinal canal stenosis (CSCS) and incidence of traumatic cervical spinal cord injury (CSCI) without major fracture or dislocation, and to discuss the clinical management of traumatic CSCI.


Forty-seven patients with traumatic CSCI without major fracture or dislocation (30 out of 47 subjects; 63.83 %, had an injury at the C3–4 segment) and 607 healthy volunteers were measured the sagittal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) column diameter at five pedicle and five intervertebral disc levels using T2-weighted midsagittal magnetic resonance imaging. We defined the sagittal CSF column diameter of less than 8 mm as CSCS based on the previous paper. We evaluated the relative and absolute risks for the incidence of traumatic CSCI related with CSCS.


Using data from the Spinal Injury Network of Fukuoka, Japan, the relative risk for the incidence of traumatic CSCI at the C3–4 segment with CSCS was calculated as 124.5:1. Moreover, the absolute risk for the incidence of traumatic CSCI at the C3–4 segment with CSCS was calculated as 0.00017.


In our results, the relative risk for the incidence of traumatic CSCI with CSCS was 124.5 times higher than that for the incidence without CSCS. However, only 0.017 % of subjects with CSCS may be able to avoid developing traumatic CSCI if they undergo decompression surgery before trauma. Our results suggest that prophylactic surgical management for CSCS might not significantly affect the incidence of traumatic CSCI.


Cervical spinal canal stenosis Traumatic cervical spinal cord injury without major fracture or dislocation MRI Relative risk Absolute risk Prophylactic surgical management 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tsuneaki Takao
    • 1
  • Yuichiro Morishita
    • 1
  • Seiji Okada
    • 2
  • Takeshi Maeda
    • 1
  • Fumihiko Katoh
    • 3
  • Takayoshi Ueta
    • 1
  • Eiji Mori
    • 1
  • Itaru Yugue
    • 1
  • Osamu Kawano
    • 1
  • Keiichiro Shiba
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgerySpinal Injuries CenterIizukaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryChubu Rosai HospitalNagoyaJapan

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