LATERAL CERVICAL SPINE (C-SPINE)
a. C-Spine Routine. A cervical spine routine consist of an AP, a lateral
(swimmer's view if the entire C-7 vertebra cannot be demonstrated on the lateral), and
an AP open mouth. As a rule, the lateral C-spine is the first view that should be
obtained since it shows all seven cervical vertebrae. Additional views that may be
required are the obliques.
b. Special Precautions. In the event of a trauma, be sure to obtain the
authorization of the radiologist or the attending physician before removing the cervical
collar. Only after viewing the radiographs for the lateral cervical spine and ascertaining
that there is no fracture or other damage to the spine can the physician authorize
removal of the collar. Never remove the cervical collar prior to having the lateral view
cleared by a radiologist or the attending physician.