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Dislocation of the Cervical Spine

updated

Tags: etiology, biology, neck, arthritis, neurology, spinal adjustment, fun, biomechanics, pro, head/neck, spine, aging, pain problems, treatment

Five articles on PainSci cite Akhaddar 2010: (1) Does Posture Correction Matter?(2) Complete Guide to Low Back Pain(3) The Complete Guide to Neck Pain & Cricks(4) Does Spinal Manipulation Work?(5) Spinal Subluxation

PainSci summary of Akhaddar 2010: ?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible.

A case report (and disturbing X-ray) of a traumatic cervical spine dislocation, notable for being mostly asymptomatic: just torticollis and limited motion, but no pain, weakness or altered sensation. That such a serious injury can have so little impact on a person is quite interesting!

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

A 22-year-old man presented with a 10-day history of torticollis. Two months before presentation, he had fallen from standing height but did not report subsequent cervical pain, weakness, or paresthesia. On examination, there was a reduced range of movement of the cervical spine without other neurologic deficits. Radiography of the cervical spine showed a marked reversal of the cervical lordosis, anterior displacement of 60% of C4 on C5, anterior callus formation, bilateral facet dislocation, and increased posterior interspinous distance (double arrow) (Panel A). Magnetic resonance imaging was performed. Sagittal T2-weighted imaging revealed a spinal cord angulation with mild compression but without intramedullary edema or hemorrhage (Panel B). The patient was admitted for surgery. With the use of an anterior approach, diskectomy, tricortical bone grafting, and insertion of a cervical plate were carried out, with a good outcome.

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