Occipital Condyle Fractures

Authors: J. Kočiš;  M. Kelbl
Authors‘ workplace: Klinika traumatologie LF MU a Úrazová nemocnice Brno
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2013; 76/109(6): 728-731
Category: Short Communication


Fractures of the occipital condyle are rare injuries. Recently, organization of pre‑hospital care improved and dia­gnostic algorithms for an examination of patients with an injury of the head and/ or cervical spine were introduced, so the detection of this type of injury increased. The mechanism of injury is usually a high‑speed car crash or fall on the head from height.

Material and method:
This was a prospective study. Since 2004, we examined injured cervical spine in all symptomatic patients with spiral CT of C0 to T2. Each occipital condyle fracture was classified according to Anderson and Montesano and then also according to Tuli. We recorded patients’ age, sex, mechanism of injury, type of injury, neurological image and the range of motion after therapy. Patients were followed up for three months. Bone healing was confirmed on the basis of a CT examination.

From 2004 to the end of 2012, we admitted 14 patients dia­gnosed with occipital condyle fracture. The dia­gnosis was based on CT scans and multiplanar reconstructions. Twelve patients were included in the study. The mean age was 37.4 years. The right condyle was injured three times and the left condyle nine times. We dia­gnosed a paresis of the 12th cranial nerve once. Other patients were free of neurological symptoms. In all patients, we proceeded in a conservative way with good results.

CT scans and multiplanar reconstruction are needed to identify a fracture of the occipital condyle. A Philadelphia collar or a halo fixation apparatus are sufficient for the therapy. When craniocervical instability is identified, occipital cervical stabilization is required.

Key words:
cervical spine injury – occipital condyle fractures

The authors declare they have no potential conflicts of interest concerning drugs, products, or services used in the study.

The Editorial Board declares that the manu­script met the ICMJE “uniform requirements” for biomedical papers.


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Paediatric neurology Neurosurgery Neurology

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