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Cureus. 2016 Nov 22;8(11):e888. doi: 10.7759/cureus.888.

Cervical Fracture/Subluxation in a Patient with a Prior C2-Sacrum Fusion: Case Report and Review of Literature.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University Medical Center.
Medical College of Wisconsin.


Traumatic injury to an adjacent segment of a previously fused spine is a rare complication of scoliosis surgery. The adjacent spinal segments may be more vulnerable to traumatic fracture or dislocation due to increased strain. We present a patient with prior C2 to sacrum fusion who suffered a C2 fracture/dislocation after falling. A 52-year-old female with a previous C2 to the sacrum fusion for idiopathic scoliosis presented with severe and progressively worsening neck pain after multiple falls. Imaging showed anterior displacement of the C2 vertebral body, fracture of C2, and anterior subluxation of the C1-2 complex on C3. The patient underwent posterior occiput to cervical fusion and reduction of the C1-C2 complex. Our case describes a potential complication of long-segment fusion. Adjacent segments may be more prone to fracture-dislocation because of increased intradiscal pressure and strain. Clinicians should have a high suspicion of fractures in patients with prior spinal fusions in the setting of trauma.


adjacent level disease; scoliosis

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