A 47-year-old woman presented with an unstable C1 fracture after falling down several stairs. She was found to have a sagittal split fracture of the right C1 lateral mass extending into the posterior arch. The fracture was treated with a direct posterior osteosynthesis of C1 using lateral mass screws.
Surgical management of unstable C1 fractures has traditionally involved posterior fusion of C1 to C2 or fusion from the occiput to C2. These fusion procedures can be quite functionally limiting. Recently, direct osteosynthesis of C1 has been shown to be an effective, motion-preserving alternative.
1Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
aE-mail address for S.R. Manoharan: email@example.com