Ronald Lehman, Daniel Riew, Klaus Schnake
Atlanto occipital dissociation are typically the result of motor vehicle accidents. They are potentially fatal (mortality rate 50-60%).
Immediate diagnosis and treatment is crucial for a good outcome.
Diagnosis is made using CT imaging, and if there is any doubt about the diagnosis, MRI.
Those who survive an atlanto-occipital dissociation often present unconscious with sign of brain or spinal cord injury.
These injuries are treated with immediate stabilization in a halo device followed by occipitocervical fusion as soon as possible.
Further clincial findings include: