Burst fracture of atlas (Jefferson fracture)

July 6, 2013 by
Filed under: Research, Spinewave Bulletin 

Courtesy of radiopaedia.org. Trauma patient: Normal X ray or not? Watch the video.

Jefferson Fracture

A Jefferson fracture is the eponymous name given to a burst fracture of C1. It was originally described as a 4-part fracture with double fractures through the anterior and posterior arches, but 3-part and 2-part fractures have also been described.

A typical mechanism of injury is diving head first into shallow water. Axial loading along the axis of the cervical spine results in the occipital condyles being driven into the lateral masses of C1. The Jefferson fracture is not normally associated with neurological deficit although spinal cord injury may occur if there is a retropulsed fragment.

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