UCSD Musculoskeletal Radiology


MSK Classifications


Subaxial Cervical Spine Injury Classification (SLIC) System 


Sub-axial Cervical Spine Injury Classification System (SLICS)

The Subaxial Cervical Spine Injury Classification (SLIC) system is a classification system for subaxial cervical spine trauma that helps determine information about injury pattern and severity, in addition to treatment considerations and prognosis.

SLIC System

Characteristic Points
No abnormality 0




Distraction (eg, facet perch, hyperextension) 3
Rotation/translation (eg, facet dislocation, unstable teardrop or advanced-stage flexion compression injury) 4
Discoligamentous complex (DLC)
Intact 0
Indeterminate (eg, isolated interspinous widening, MRI signal change only) 1
Disrupted (eg, widening of disk space, facet perch or dislocation) 2
Neurological status
Intact 0
Root injury 1
Complete cord injury 2
Incomplete cord injury 3
Continuous cord compression in setting of neurodeficit (Neuro Modifier) +1

Table 2. Interpretation of SLIC System Scoring

Score Interpretation
< 4 Nonoperative treatment
4 Operative versus nonoperative
≥5 Operative treatment