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Spine Case 7 Background

Hangman's Fracture


The classic Hangman's Fracture is the injury pattern seen in judicial hangings: bilateral pedicle fractures at C2 with complete disruption of the ligamentous connection between C2 and C3 resulting in significant distraction. The more commonly encountered variety is properly termed traumatic spondylolisthesis of C2, which involves bilateral C2 pedicle fractures with variable degrees of ligamentous disruption.

Up to 30% of people with hangman's fractures will have other injuries to the spine, usually other fractures of C1-C3.