Complex developmental abnormality of the atlas mimicking a Jefferson fracture: Diagnostic tips and tricks

Journal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock. 2013;6(1):47-49 DOI 10.4103/0974-2700.106325


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Journal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock

ISSN: 0974-2700 (Print); 0974-519X (Online)

Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Medknow Publications

Society/Institution: INDO-US Emergency and Trauma Collaborative

LCC Subject Category: Medicine: Internal medicine: Medical emergencies. Critical care. Intensive care. First aid

Country of publisher: India

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, ePUB



Mario Ganau

Roberto Spinelli

Leonello Tacconi


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 39 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Congenital atlas abnormalities are rare - often asymptomatic - findings, not requiring any specific treatment. They are frequently discovered, by chance, in trauma patients, in the course of the radiological work flow at the Emergency Department. In these cases they may represent a diagnostic challenge, since physicians are expected to differentiate them from complex C1 fractures (isolated Jefferson′s fractures or associated with Anderson and d′Alonzo′s fractures) requiring surgical treatment. Although difficult to identify, a correct diagnosis is mandatory in order to optimize the patient′s treatment. In this article we report a case of congenital atlas abnormality, and discuss the tips and tricks to make a correct differential diagnosis through the most appropriate clinical and radiological work flow.