This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Assessment for thoracic or lumbosacral spine injury

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Assessment for thoracic or lumbosacral spine injury

  • assess the person with suspected thoracic or lumbosacral spine injury using these factors:
    • age 65 years or older and reported pain in the thoracic or lumbosacral spine
    • dangerous mechanism of injury (fall from a height of greater than 3 metres, axial load to the head or base of the spine - for example falls landing on feet or buttocks, high-speed motor vehicle collision, rollover motor accident, lap belt restraint only, ejection from a motor vehicle, accident involving motorised recreational vehicles, bicycle collision, horse riding accidents)
    • pre-existing spinal pathology, or known or at risk of osteoporosis - for example steroid use
    • suspected spinal fracture in another region of the spine
    • abnormal neurological symptoms (paraesthesia or weakness or numbness)

  • on examination:
    • abnormal neurological signs (motor or sensory deficit)
    • new deformity or bony midline tenderness (on palpation)
    • bony midline tenderness (on percussion)
    • midline or spinal pain (on coughing)

  • on mobilisation (sit, stand, step, assess walking): pain or abnormal neurological symptoms (stop if this occurs)

Note that assessing children with suspected thoracic or lumbosacral spine injury is difficult and the child's developmental stage should be taken into account.

Carry out or maintain full in-line spinal immobilisation if indicated by one or more factors listed (1).


Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Annotations allow you to add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation. E.g. a website or number. This information will always show when you visit this page.

The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.


Copyright 2024 Oxbridge Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of OmniaMed Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence.