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This case came across the wires on Instagram – Follow @radiologynemoursch who recently posted this most interesting case!
Diagnosis: Traumatic diastasis of the unfused anterior arch of C1 and a mild atlanto-axial distraction-type injury.
Key Finding: Markedly thickened prevertebral soft tissues consistent with edema from trauma.
Case description: Teenager with neck pain after injury while playing a contact sport. The key to this case is identifying the prevertebral edema on the lateral radiograph. The final diagnosis is traumatic diastasis of the unfused anterior arch of C1 and a mild atlanto-axial distraction-type injury. Sagittal soft tissue reformats are important on CT studies of the cervical spine for trauma in kids, especially since there are more ligamentous injuries in children than in adults. In general, the ossification centers of C1 are usually fused by age 8 years. Some believe that participation in contact sports should be avoided by people with failure of fusion of the anterior and posterior arches of C1.
Source: @radiologynemoursch (Instagram)