Primary ResearchHangman’s FractureTurtle, Joel MD, PhD*; Kantor, Adam MD*; Spina, Nicholas T. MD*; France, John C. MD†; Lawrence, Brandon D. MD*Author Information *Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT †Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV The authors declare no conflict of interest. Reprints: Brandon D. Lawrence, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84108 (e-mail: [email protected]). Clinical Spine Surgery: November 2020 - Volume 33 - Issue 9 - p 345-354 doi: 10.1097/BSD.0000000000001093 Buy Metrics Abstract Study Design: Review article. Objective: A review and update of the treatment of Hangman’s fractures including the indications for both nonoperative and operative treatment of typical and atypical fractures. Summary of Background Data: Hangman’s fractures are the second most common fracture pattern of the C2 vertebrae following odontoid fractures. Many of the stable extension type I and II fractures can be treated with external immobilization, whereas the predominant flexion type IIa and III fractures require surgical stabilization. Methods: A review of the literature. Results: The clinical and radiographic outcomes of the treatment of Hangman’s fractures lend a good overall prognosis when the correct diagnosis is made. The nonoperative treatment of stable type I and II fractures with external immobilization leads to excellent long-term outcomes as does the operative treatment of the unstable type IIa and III fractures. Conclusions: Hangman’s fractures can be classified as stable (type I and most II) or unstable (type IIa and III) and the optimal treatment depends upon this distinction. Stable injuries do well with rigid immobilization and rarely require operative intervention. In contrast, unstable injuries do poorly if treated nonoperatively but do well with surgical intervention. When treating atypical Hangman’s variants, great vigilance and close clinical observation is paramount if nonoperative treatment is indicated given the potential for neurological compression in this fracture pattern. Properly identifying and treating these injuries represents an opportunity for the spine surgeon to optimize patient outcomes. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.