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Management of Acute Traumatic Atlas Fractures

Kontautas, Egidijus MD*; Ambrozaitis, Kazys Vytautas MD; Kalesinskas, Romas Jonas MD*; Špakauskas, Bronius MD

Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques: October 2005 - Volume 18 - Issue 5 - p 402-405
doi: 10.1097/01.bsd.0000177959.49721.3b
Original Article

Objective: A prospective review of a clinical series was performed. The treatment features of atlas fractures with and without associated axis injuries were investigated.

Methods: Twenty-nine patients were investigated.

Results: No displaced fractures were treated with a cervical orthosis. Patients with displaced fractures were managed with a halo vest immobilization; 96.4% patients had a solid fusion at their last follow-up evaluations.

Conclusions: Isolated not displaced or combined with not displaced axis fractures atlas fractures can be treated effectively with a rigid cervical collar alone. Isolated displaced fractures or not displaced but with concurrent displaced axis fractures require immobilization by the halo vest.

From the *Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Kaunas University of Medicine Hospital, Kaunas, Lithuania, and †Department of Neurosurgery, Kaunas University of Medicine Hospital, Kaunas, Lithuania.

Received for publication March 13, 2005; accepted July 5, 2005.

Reprints: Dr. E. Kontautas, Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Kaunas University of Medicine Hospital, Eivenių g. 2, LT - 50010, Kaunas, Lithuania (e-mail:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.