Clinical Evaluation and Airway Management for Adults with Cervical Spine Instability

Ross P. Martini, Dawn M. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Airway management of patients with cervical spine instability may be difficult as a result of immobilization, and may be associated with secondary neurologic injury related to cervical spine motion. Spinal cord instability is most common in patients with trauma, but there are additional congenital and acquired conditions that predispose to subacute cervical spine instability. Patients with suspected instability should receive immobilization during airway management with manual in-line stabilization. The best strategy for airway management is one that applies the technique with the highest likelihood of success on the first attempt and the lowest biomechanical influence on a potentially unstable spine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-327
Number of pages13
JournalAnesthesiology Clinics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway management
  • Cervical spine instability
  • Manual in-line stabilization
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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