Thoracolumbar Injury Classification and Severity (TLICS) Scale 

Updated: Dec 09, 2014
  • Author: Buck Christensen; Chief Editor: Buck Christensen  more...
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Thoracolumbar Injury Classification and Severity (TLICS) Scale

The Thoracolumbar Injury Classification and Severity (TLICS) Scale is a guideline for the management of thoracolumbar injuries. It is used to assess integrity of the posterior ligamentous complex, injury morphology, and neurological status of the patient. [1, 2]

Table 1. Thoracolumbar Injury Classification and Severity (TLICS) Scale (Open Table in a new window)

Category Points
Injury morphology
Compression 1 (another point added [total of 2] if burst component present)
Translation/rotation 3
Distraction 4
Posterior ligamentous complex (PLC) integrity
Intact 0
Suspected/indeterminate 2
Disrupted 3
Neurological status
Intact 0
Nerve root injury 2
Spinal cord, conus medullaris 3 if incomplete, 2 if complete
Cauda equina 3

Table 2. Interpretation of TLICS System Scoring (Open Table in a new window)

Score Interpretation
≤3 Nonoperative treatment
4 Nonoperative or operative
≥5 Operative treatment