Accessory ossicle of the anterior arch of C1 vertebra

Case contributed by Talal F M Abdullah
Diagnosis certain


Road traffic accident, neck pain, and stiffness, no neurological symptoms.

Patient Data

Age: 30 years
Gender: Male

A well-corticated ossicle noted just inferior to the anterior tubercle of the atlas vertebra.  No prevertebral soft tissue thickening or any other traumatic injury to the cervical spine.

Case Discussion

It is important to be aware of this normal variant as in the setting of trauma, one may think of fracture of the anterior tubercle/arch of the atlas vertebra.  However, the well-corticated margins and the mild arthritic changes suggest this not being related to the RTA.

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