Clinical assessment techniques for detecting ligament and membrane injuries in the upper cervical spine region—A comparison with MRI results

Bertel Rune Kaale, Jostein Krakenes, Grethe Albrektsen and Knut Wester

This study examined whether results from a clinical test of passive mobility of soft tissue structures in the upper cervical spine, corresponded with signs of physical injuries, as judged by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Results were based on examinations of 122 study participants, 92 with and 30 without a diagnosis of whiplash-associated disorder, type 2. The structures considered were the alar and the transverse ligaments, and the tectorial and the posterior atlanto-occipital membranes.  Although results from the clinical test seem to be slightly more conservative than the MRI assessment, the authors believe that a clinical test can serve as valuable clinical tool in the assessment of WAD patients. However, further validity- and reliability studies are needed.

Manual Therapy, Nov 2007, online article ahead of print

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