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01.06.2014 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2014

European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery 3/2014

Acute traumatic fractures to the craniovertebral junction: preliminary experience with the “MILD” score scale

Zeitschrift:
European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery > Ausgabe 3/2014
Autoren:
A. Debernardi, E. Sala, G. D’Aliberti, G. Talamonti, M. Cenzato

Abstract

Purpose

Traumatic fractures to the craniovertebral junction (CVJ) are rare events requiring complex clinical management. Several classification systems are currently in use; however, recent improvements of junctional knowledge has focused attention on the role of ligaments and membranes in vertebral biomechanical stability. The aim of this study was to present our preliminary experience with the “MILD” score scale, which should allow fast and effective classification of all CVJ traumatic fractures based on vertebral instability in the acute setting.

Methods

A prospective study was conducted on 38 consecutive patients with 43 traumatic junctional fractures identified by computed tomography (CT) scan in the acute trauma phase. The MILD scale was applied to all fractures, and a score was obtained for each patient. All cases underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess the anatomical integrity of ligaments and membranes.

Results

Twenty-seven patients (71 %) were classified as MILD type 1 (0–1 points), showed a negative MRI, and healed with conservative treatment. Eight patients (21 %) were classified as MILD type 2 (2 points) and showed modest indirect signs of ligamentous injuries. Four of these patients healed with conservative treatment, while three patients underwent surgery due to wide bone fracture fragment displacement. Three patients (8 %) were classified as MILD type 3 (3 points), all of whom showed extensive ligamentous damage and underwent surgery.

Conclusions

The close association between the MILD scale and spinal instability is promising, although further studies are warranted in order to confirm our preliminary data.

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