UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Trauma

Title: Cervical Spine Injuries in Patients Over Age 65

Keywords: elderly, cervical spine, trauma, systematic review (PubMed Search)

Posted: 3/28/2023 by Robert Flint, MD (Emailed: 4/16/2023) (Updated: 6/16/2024)
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In a systematic review looking at patients over age 65 who sustained a cervical spine injury from a low-level fall, there was a 3.8% prevalence of injury identified. The paper could not correlate injury with GCS level or altered level of consciousness due to the quality of the data available.

Bottom line again is patients over age 65 with low-level falls should be considered to have significant injury until proven otherwise.


Cervical spine injuries in adults ≥ 65 years after low-level falls - A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Jessica McCallum, Debra Eagles, Yongdong Ouyang, Jamie Vander Ende, Christian Vaillancourt, Christophe Fehlmann, Risa Shorr, Monica Taljaard, Ian Stiell

American Journal of Emergency Medicine 2023 Februrary 11