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Cervical spine hangman fracture secondary to a gelastic seizure
  1. Ciaran M Hurley1,
  2. Muhammad Nouman Baig2,
  3. Simon Callaghan1 and
  4. Fergus Byrne1
  1. 1 Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, Galway University Hospitals, Galway, Ireland
  2. 2 Trauma & Orthopaedics, Galway University Hospitals, Galway, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Ciaran M Hurley, ciaranmartinhurley{at}


A 42-year-old man reported to our service with a 1-week history of vague cervical neck pain on a background history of a gelastic seizure disorder. Radiological imaging confirmed a type II hangman’s fracture through the C2 pedicle. A CT angiogram of carotid and vertebral arteries was normal, and the patient was managed with an occipitocervical fusion. The patient had no neurological insult and was discharged on day 5 with a Miami-J collar for 6 weeks. Although there are case report evidence of lumbar and thoracic vertebral fractures secondary to seizures, this is the first report of a spine injury resulting from a gelastic seizure.

  • orthopaedic and trauma surgery
  • neurosurgery
  • neurology
  • spinal cord

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  • Contributors CMH: assisting operating surgeon, reporting of case write-up; MNB: conception of case report design, accumulation of images, assistance in write-up; SC: assistance in write-up, assisting operating surgeon in case; FB: planning of write-up, consultant operating surgeon of case and project supervisor.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.