Authors of section


Ronald Lehman, Daniel Riew, Klaus Schnake

General Editor

Luiz Vialle

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C0 fractures

Occipital condyle fractures are typically the result of motor vehicle accidents.

If undetected, these fractures may have very unfavorable long term consequences.

Diagnosis is made using CT imaging, and if there is any doubt about the diagnosis, MRI.

These fractures are mainly treated with a color and less often with occipitocervical fusion.

Typically the patients present with loss of consciousness (80% of the cases) and less frequently (30% of the cases) with lower cranial nerve palsy.

Further clincial findings include:

  • Tenderness in the posterior craniocervical transition
  • Dysphagia mainly in delayed presentation (glossopharyngeus, vagal, or hypoglossus nerve palsy)
  • Hoarseness and numbness in the anterior part of the ears as well as the auditory canal (vagal nerve lesion)
  • Torticollis or weakens in lifting the shoulders or abduction of the arm (accessory nerve damage)
  • Deviation of the tongue (lesion of the ipsilateral hypoglossal nerve)
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