Pediatric traumatic atlanto-occipital dislocation: five cases and a review.
Traumatic atlanto-occipital dislocation (AOD) has been thought to be a rare and fatal injury. Recently, more survivors, especially children, have been reported. During a 10-year period, the authors have encountered five children with traumatic AOD. A retrospective review of traumatic AOD in children from 1985 to 1995 was performed. Clinical presentation, initial radiologic findings, and final outcome were emphasized. Distance from the dens to the basion and the ratio of Powers were measured from initial lateral cervical spine radiographs. The average distance from the dens to the basion was 9.8 mm. The average ratio of Powers was 1.38. There were three survivors, two having a concomitant spinal cord injury. All survivors underwent a posterior occipitovertebral fusion. Three cases initially went undiagnosed. The diagnosis of AOD by lateral cervical spine radiographs can be difficult. The authors recommend detailed measurements of the initial cervical spine radiographs in pediatric patients at risk for traumatic AOD.
Kenter, K; Worley, G; Griffin, T; Fitch, RD
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