Type I fractures of the odontoid process: implications for atlanto-occipital instability

Case report

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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
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✓ Only four cases of Type I odontoid fracture have been previously described in the English literature. Most authors consider this lesion to be stable, although the mechanism(s) of injury has not been clearly elucidated. A case of Type I odontoid fracture in association with atlanto-occipital and atlantoaxial dislocation resulting in death is presented. The normal ligamentous anatomy is reviewed and proposed mechanisms for this injury are discussed. The radiographic features of all reported cases of this type are reviewed. It is proposed that the Type I odontoid fracture is a likely manifestation of atlanto-occipital instability and rarely occurs as an isolated or stable injury.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Eric W. Scott, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Box J-265 JHMHC, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32610.
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