C6-7 fracture-dislocation

Case contributed by Dr Ahmed Almuslim


High speed RTC. Restrained driver. LOC at scene.

Patient Data

Age: 50 years
Gender: Male

Never report a spinal x-ray as normal when you dont see the entire cervical spine from C1 to the upper part of T1


C6/7 dislocation with associated fracture and bilateral dislocated facets.


Associated cord injury at C6/7 with loss of signal centrally, associated edema and widening of the cord. Associated edema in the posterior ligaments following hyperflexion.

Case Discussion

This man was involved in a high speed motor accident.

His initial cross-table lateral C-spine x-ray demonstrates normal alignment of the upper cervical spine with no pre-vertebral soft tissue swelling.

This case highlights the importance of always needing to see the whole of the cerical spine and the top of T1 because there is a huge injury at C7 with fracture/dislocation and bilateral facet dislocation. The subsequent MRI demonstraes the associated cord injury.

How to use cases

You can use Radiopaedia cases in a variety of ways to help you learn and teach.

Creating your own cases is easy.

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.