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Lookup NU author(s): David Talbot
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Fractures of the odontoid process represent about 10-20% of all diagnosed cervical spine fractures. Approximately 35% of these fractures are classified as Type II according to Anderson and D'Alonzo. They can be potentially unstable especially if combined with a dens displacement of over 6 mm. In severe cervical spine trauma, these fractures do not usually cause difficulties in diagnosis. However, in whiplash injuries, which are very common and only rarely associated with such fractures, the surgical management can be complicated if they are underestimated. These patients can present without significant neurological deficits or the situation can be complicated due to intoxication or additional trauma. Under these circumstances in particular, the diagnosis can be delayed or missed, if no strict protocols for diagnostic effort in all whiplash injuries are employed. A case of delayed diagnosis of an odontoid fracture in a neurological asymptomatic patient after whiplash injury is presented.
Author(s): Gerstenkorn C, Cacciola R, Thomusch O, Brucke M, Talbot D, Dralle H
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Der Unfallchirurg
Print publication date: 01/01/2000
ISSN (print): 0177-5537
ISSN (electronic): 1433-044X
PubMed id: 11098750
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