Atlanto-occipital disassociation

Case contributed by Assoc Prof Frank Gaillard

Patient Data

Age: Child

Lateral x-ray demonstrates the patient to be intubated. What appears to be a tooth with filling is in the hypopharynx. There is widening and non-congruency of the atlanto-occipital articulation consistent with atlanto-occipital dissociation

Selected images from an MRI confirms widening of the altanto-occiptal joint with prominent fluid in the prevertebral soft tissues and posterior neck. The cord appears normal and there is no convincing disruption of the theca on these selected images. Superior endplate compression fractures are present in the upper thoracic spine. 

Case Discussion

Atlanto-occipital disassociation is usually associated with severe injury to the cord. Unfortunately, no further clinical information or imaging is available for this patient. 

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Case information

rID: 8015
Published: 3rd Jan 2010
Last edited: 13th Aug 2019
Tag: c1, c2, atlas, axis, spine
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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