What is atlanto-occipital dissociation?

Introduction: Atlanto-occipital dissociation (AOD) is a rare and unstable injury of the craniocervical junction, associated with very high morbidity and mortality. The most common cause of this injury is high energy trauma with hyperextension of the cranium, such as car accidents.

What is the craniocervical junction?

The craniocervical (craniovertebral) junction represents the complex transitional zone between the cranium and the spine and comprises a complex balance of different elements: it should be considered anatomically and radiologically a distinct entity from both the cranium and, in particular, the cervical spine.

Where is the craniocervical region?

The craniocervical junction (CCJ) is comprised of the inferior surface of the skull, the atlas and axis, as well as muscles and connective tissues that attach the skull to the cervical spine.

Is internal decapitation fixable?

Surviving the injury Fixing the injury requires surgery to add rods, screws and plates that will stabilize your neck and allow the ligaments to repair. Recovering from internal decapitation is a long process. During recovery, you must maintain the proper head position to avoid further injury.

How do you test for Craniocervical instability?

Diagnosis. Craniocervical instability is usually diagnosed through neuro-anatomical measurement using radiography. Upright magnetic resonance imaging is considered the most accurate method, and supine magnetic resonance imaging, CT scan or digital motion X-ray, or Digital X-ray are also used.

What causes Craniocervical instability?

Craniocervical instability is caused by ligament laxity between the skull and the top two vertebrae (the atlas and the axis). This allows excessive movement and leads to a long list of physical and neurological symptoms.

What causes CCI?

CCI usually develops as a result of physical trauma such as a car accident, an inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or a congenital disorder such as Down’s syndrome.

Can your head detach from your spine?

AOD, also known as internal decapitation or orthopedic decapitation, describes a rare medical condition in which the skull separates from the spinal column during severe head injury.