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Is an X-ray required?

At the initial visit, practitioners should use the Canadian C-Spine Rule to determine whether an X-ray of the cervical spine is required for diagnosis of fracture or dislocation. Effective use of this tool will avoid exposing the injured person to unnecessary exposure to X-rays.

The Canadian C-Spine Rule is for alert and stable trauma patients when cervical spine injury is a concern.

Recommended action

Refer for radiography if indicated by the outcome of the Canadian C-Spine Rule (A3, page 16 guidelines).