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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1982;64(4):416-21.

Odontoid fractures. A rational approach to treatment.


Twenty-three adults with fractures of the odontoid process are reviewed. Te possible reasons for the high rate of non-union in reported series are considered: these include the type of fracture, its displacement, the presence of a gap at the fracture site, imperfect reduction and inadequate immobilisation. Type 2 fractures (at the base of the odontoid process) are the commonest and also the most liable to nonunion. In their treatment, reduction is important; as seen in the lateral radiograph at least two-thirds of the fracture surfaces should be in contact. Skull traction is not advised and halo-cast fixation is the treatment of choice; with this method 87.5 per cent of recent odontoid fractures united.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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