Atlanto-occipital dissociation injuries

Dr Dan J Bell and A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

Atlanto-occipital dissociation (AOD) injuries are severe and include both atlanto-occipital dislocations and atlanto-occipital subluxations.

The tectorial membrane and alar ligaments provide the most stability to the atlanto-occipital joint, and injury to these ligaments results in instability due to low inherent osseous stability 3.

The key to the diagnosis, in addition to visualising gross disruption of the normal alignment of the atlanto-occipital joints, is by using a number of lines on the lateral horizontal shoot-through cervical spine film 1:

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Article information

rID: 23151
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Atlanto-occipital dissociation (AOD)
  • Atlanto-occipital dislocations
  • Atlanto-occipital subluxations
  • Atlanto-occipital dissociation

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1
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    Case 2
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    Case 3: widened basion-dens interval
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     Distraction type...
    Case 4
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    Case 5
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    Case 6: base of skull lines
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    Case 7
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