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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2002 Apr 1;27(7):E197-9.

Combined odontoid and jefferson fracture in a child: a case report.

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1
Nemours Children's Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida.

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

A case of combined odontoid and Jefferson fracture is reported.

OBJECTIVE:

To alert spine physicians to the rare combination of an odontoid and Jefferson fracture in a child.

METHODS:

A 5-year old boy presented with neck pain and torticollis after falling on his head from a four-wheeler that had rolled over. A computed tomography scan confirmed a combined odontoid and Jefferson fracture.

RESULTS:

The child was successfully treated nonsurgically with a hard cervical orthosis. At this writing, the child clinically is asymptomatic 2 years after the injury.

DISCUSSION:

The fall on to the head caused the body weight to be transmitted to the atlas. The resulting force vector produced the classic Jefferson fracture of the atlas. As the atlas fracture spread with continued compressive and axial forces, tension was exerted on the alar ligaments (check ligaments), leading to the avulsion fracture of the odontoid.

CONCLUSIONS:

This is only the second reported case of a child with a combined Jefferson and odontoid fracture. This diagnosis should be considered in the evaluation of a child with neck pain and torticollis from a fall on the top of the head.

PMID:
11923678
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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