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Traffic accidents occasionally produce a distinctive variety of fracture (or fracture-dislocation) of the upper cervical spine, characterized by a bilateral avulsion-fracture through the neural arch of the axis without injury to the odontoid process and with or without fracture-dislocation of the 2nd cervical vertebral body upon the 3rd. The similarity of this lesion to that effected by the modern technique of judicial hanging justifies its description as “hangman's fracture” of the cervical spine.
Some years ago one of us (R.C.S.5) published a radiograph of a lesion sustained in a traffic accident which revealed just such an
SchneiderR. C.KahnE. A.Chronic neurological sequelae of acute trauma to the spine and spinal cord. I. The significance of the acuteflexion or “tear-drop” fracture-dislocation of the cervical spine.J. Bone Jt. Surg.195638-A: 985–997.SchneiderKahnJ. Bone Jt. Surg.38-A: 985–997.