The incidence of spinal-cord injury (SCI) is believed to be declining, mainly due to improvements in obstetrical technique. SCI is attributed to increased force applied to the spine during delivery. The major predisposing factors include the immaturity of the tissues and the overall laxity of the primary ligaments responsible for preserving spinal stability. Thus, SCI may occur in the absence of a major structural injury to the vertebral bodies or ligaments. Operative intervention is rarely indicated. While expectant management with bracing is common, decompression is occasionally warranted. Unfortunately, most injuries involve the upper cervical spinal cord and result in quadriparesis and the need for ventilatory assistance.
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