SCIWORA

Spinal cord injury without radiographic abnormality – a condition seen in infants and children where a child presents with a history of recent, significant trauma, a major neurological deficit consistent with a spinal cord injury but radiographs fail to demonstrate a spinal abnormality. This condition was defined in the pre-MRI era and most children with this condition will demonstrate a paraspinal soft tissue abnormality on MR scanning that predicts spinal instability. It was coined by Dachling Pang (J Trauma 29(5):654-64, 1989) to describe a patient with signs of a spinal cord injury but normal plain radiographs and tomographic scans of the spine.