Motor vehicle accident, patient arrested at scene.
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The craniocervical junction is dissociated. The left atlantooccipital articulation is widened to 12 mm. The right occipital condyle is fractured and displaced from the base of skull by 10 mm. Subcutaneous emphysema dissects the tissue planes of the neck.
Craniocervical dissociation accounts for around 6-8% of motor vehicle accident deaths. It is an uncommon injury that can lead to life changing consequences and death. As surgical treatment and pre-hospital care advances, early stabilisation of these injuries can lead to them becoming survivable. Regrettably due to the significant mechanism of injury, patients will often have multiple life-threatening injuries to accompany it 1,2.
- 1. Reis A, Bransford R, Penoyar T et-al. Diagnosis and treatment of craniocervical dissociation in 48 consecutive survivors. Evid Based Spine Care J. 2010;1 (02): 69-70. doi:10.1055/s-0028-1100920 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 2. Bellabarba C, Mirza SK, West GA et-al. Diagnosis and treatment of craniocervical dislocation in a series of 17 consecutive survivors during an 8-year period. J Neurosurg Spine. 2006;4 (6): 429-40. doi:10.3171/spi.2006.4.6.429 - Pubmed citation