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Case report
Neurological recovery after surgical intervention of a complete spinal cord injury secondary to a chronic untreated odontoid neck fracture: a lesson in patient prognostication
  1. Patricio III Espinoza Dumlao and
  2. Samuel Grozman
  1. Orthopedics, University of the Philippines Manila, Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
  1. Correspondence to Dr Patricio III Espinoza Dumlao; pedumlao{at}


Odontoid fractures are injuries that can either be benign or devastatingly progress to quadriplegia and significant morbidity and mortality. Management is not clear cut for patients who already present late and with severe neurological deficits. We present a case of a type 2 odontoid fracture with associated complete spinal cord injury (American Spinal Injury Association A) initially untreated for 3 months but was subsequently managed with posterior decompression, instrumentation and occipitocervical fusion. The patient fully recovered all deficits and is independent of activities of daily living.

  • neurological injury
  • neurosurgery
  • orthopaedics
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  • Contributors PIIIED: corresponding author, surgeon, followed-up patient; SG: surgeon, consultant for the case, mentor.

  • 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.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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

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