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Open Access Publications from the University of California


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BackBone is an academic publication with the purpose of delivering cutting-edge research, surgical techniques and current concepts of the field of spine surgery to doctors worldwide.


Review of Human Coronaviruses and Other Respiratory Viruses and their Neurological Impact on the Central Nervous System

Comprehensive reporting shows that some pathogens, including COVID-19, influenza A and SARS-CoV have sometimes caused pandemics and were linked to more serious diseases and death. A number of respiratory viruses can travel from the respiratory tract to the central nervous system, causing alterations and damage and resulting in long-term neurological diseases.5

  • 1 supplemental file

Treating Doctors Must be Proactive to Obtain Approval of Treatment for Injured Workers

Preface: Many spine surgeons handle cases of injured workers. This article, which includes in-depth research on workers' compensation laws, provides physicians with an insightful look into the legal side of spine practice.

  • 1 supplemental file

Narrative Review: Disc Herniation After Motor Vehicular Trauma

Spinal pain that arises from motor vehicular trauma is challenging to the treating physician due to the wide spectrum of presenting symptoms and responses to treatment, including traumatic disc herniations.  The severity of injuries varies from patient to patient, with imaging often not strictly correlating to symptomatology.  However, with a systematic approach, including an understanding of the limitations of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the role of cytokines and inflammatory mediators, the treatment and diagnosis from patients suffering from traumatic disc herniations can be improved1,2.  Furthermore, evidence supports conservative management before escalation to more invasive procedures such as epidurals or surgery, specifically in uncomplicated spinal injury patients with no evidence of neural compromise warranting emergency surgery3,4.   Should surgery be needed, mounting evidence supports intervention with minimally invasive discectomy for lumbar herniations and cervical disc arthroplasty for cervical herniations5–8.

Single vs. Dual Adjustment Cervical Collars: A Critical Patient Evaluation

The purpose of this study was to assess the benefits, if any, of having dual adjustment on the cervical neck collar -- which allows for height adjustment and allows tilting of the neck slightly to the right or to the left. The collars are used for treatment of acute neck injury, painful cervical degenerative changes as well as post-surgical neck cases. Results indicate that dual adjustable collars provide more comfort and pain relief and allow for more air circulation and less skin irritation for patients as opposed to the single adjustment control collars.