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Chiropr Osteopat. 2007 Dec 19;15:20.

Post-traumatic upper cervical subluxation visualized by MRI: a case report.

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New York Chiropractic College, Seneca Falls, NY, USA.



This paper describes MRI findings of upper cervical subluxation due to alar ligament disruption following a vehicular collision. Incidental findings included the presence of a myodural bridge and a spinal cord syrinx. Chiropractic management of the patient is discussed.


A 21-year old female presented with complaints of acute, debilitating upper neck pain with unremitting sub-occipital headache and dizziness following a vehicular collision. Initial emergency department and neurologic investigations included x-ray and CT evaluation of the head and neck. Due to persistent pain, the patient sought chiropractic care. MRI of the upper cervical spine revealed previously unrecognized clinical entities.


This case highlights the identification of upper cervical ligamentous injury that produced vertebral subluxation following a traumatic incident. MRI evaluation provided visualization of previously undetected injury. The patient experienced improvement through chiropractic care.

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