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J Craniovertebr Junction Spine. 2018 Oct-Dec;9(4):274-276. doi: 10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_92_18.

Autostabilization of neglected high-grade fracture-dislocation in the cervical spine.

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"We Are Spine" Centre, Aarav Polyclinic, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
Lilavati Hospital and Research Center, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.


Neglected cervical spine trauma is rare with very few case series reported in literature. There are no clear guidelines for its treatment. If operative treatment is sought, the role of skull traction, type of approach (anterior only, posterior only, or combined), sequence of surgery, type of instrumentation, etc., have to be considered. Hence, the treatment is challenging. Autostabilization has been described in the natural history of degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis. As a result, many patients are treated nonoperatively, obviating need of surgery. We report two cases of neglected/untreated fracture-dislocation at subaxial cervical spine. They presented with exertional neck pain. Computed tomography scan showed bony fusion at involved level. The patient was treated nonsurgically with favorable outcome at long-term follow-up. Our cases depict autostabilization in a case of neglected traumatic cervical spine injury, which is never been reported. Such patients do well with nonsurgical treatment, thus obviating need for extensive deformity correction.


Autostabilization; cervical spine; neglected fracture–dislocation

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