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Spine Case 10 Diagnosis

Odontoid Fracture


CT of the cervical spine is the test of choice for evaluating for cervical spine fractures.

Cervical spine x rays are much less sensitive. When used, AP, lateral, and open mouth views are obtained.

- C1 and C2 are often difficult to visualize and even more difficult when the cervical collar is left in place.

- Prevertebral soft tissue swelling (>10 mm at C1 or C2) on the lateral view may be the only finding sometimes. However up to 20% of those with C2 fractures stilldo not manifest this.

- The open mouth view, when done properly, gives the best view of the dens.