Podcast #312: SCIWORA

Author: Sam Killian, M.D.

Educational Pearls:

  • Spinal cord injury without radiographic abnormality (SCIWORA) is a diagnosis defined as traumatic injury to spine with clinical sx of traumatic myelopathy (paraplegia, paresthesias, FND) without radiographic abnormalities.
  • Term was established in  1970’s before MRI and accounted for about 15% of injuries at the time (mainly children). Today SCIWORA accounts for about 10% of spinal injuries.
  • Belief is that injury causes subtle movement of the spinal cord from its natural position with resultant contusion or ischemia with subsequent deficits.
  • Treatment involves prolonged immobilization (up to 12 weeks).

 

References:

Walecki, J. (2014). Spinal Cord Injury Without Radiographic Abnormality (SCIWORA) ? Clinical and Radiological Aspects. Polish Journal of Radiology,79, 461-464. doi:10.12659/pjr.890944

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *