When Xrays are taken to rule-out cervical spine fractures, should the helmet be removed or left on?
It may be difficult to remove helmets and protective padding. If this is done, it should be done VERY carefully and requires 3 skilled health-care providers to perform the task. Usually Xrays will be adequate for athletes wearing hockey helmets and shoulder pads, although it may be difficult to visualize the cervico-thoracic junction. Conversely, football padding and helmets are much more likely to lead to inadequate films.