Spinal Cord Injury Without Radiological Abnormality in Adult Thoracic Spinal Trauma


Department of Orthopaedics, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi, Delhi, India



Spinal cord injury without radiological abnormality (SCIWORA) is a rare entity and usually involves the cervical spine. Thoracic spine involvement is very rare due to the stability provided by the rib cage. The mechanisms of injury and pathophysiology are still debatable.

Case Presentation
We present a case of an adult male who had road traffic accident and presented with paraplegia. The initial radiological investigations carried out in the emergency department were reported to be normal, however, subsequent magnetic resonance imaging revealed spinal cord contusion without vertebral column disruption. The patient recovered partially with conservative treatment measures including bed rest and methylprednisolone.

Spinal trauma patients presenting with neurological deficit but no radiological abnormality should be treated as a case of SCIWORA.