To start with, we’ll start with the clinical case, there’s a 78 year old male presents with bilateral hand clumsiness and balance problems. He has a history of a distant fall about four years back, which was managed conservatively and he had no fracture, no diagnosis of a fracture at that time.

The X-rays were done, which shows essentially degenerative changes, but there was a suspicion of an odontoid fracture here.

So, CT scan was done, which confirmed the diagnosis of an odontoid non-union. An MRI was done. So, these patients, because they have a neurological deficit, an MRI should be done to find out what’s going on and it showed a stenosis on the upper cervical spine and the area of the nonunion. Because of the fibrous nonunion, there was a pannus which was pinching onto the nerve, onto the spinal cord causing imbalance and upper upper extremity symptoms.

So, it was treated with a stabilization process, surgery C1-C2 fusion, which was able to stop the neurological deficit and gave him some more power back into his hands.

I am Vedant Vaksha, Fellowship trained Spine, Sports and Arthroscopic Surgeon at Complete Orthopedics. I take care of patients with ailments of the neck, back, shoulder, knee, elbow and ankle. I personally approve this content and have written most of it myself.

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