Penetrating injuries to the neck. Pitfalls in management

W. D. McInnis, A. B. Cruz, J. B. Aust

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


One hundred patients with penetrating injuries to the neck were evaluated. The safest, most expeditious method of managing a penetrating injury to the neck is still prompt surgical exploration. Patients with positive physical examination have definite indications for surgery. In our series, 93 per cent of these patients had significant injuries. Patients with negative physical examinations are still optimally treated with neck explorations. The mortality of this series was 2 per cent. In specific situations, nonoperative management of penetrating injuries to the neck may be useful. This modality, however, should not be construed as "conservative" management. Specific pitfalls noted include inadequate neck exploration, failure to completely examine the patient, and being unprepared for exploration outside the neck.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-420
Number of pages5
JournalThe American Journal of Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1975
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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