Cervical injury is a serious and often fatal complication of ankylosing spondylitis in the setting of minor trauma. This case report describes a 51-year-old woman with ankylosing spondylitis and a minor trauma who developed severe bradycardia during positioning for x ray. Further diagnostic revealed a hyperextensive fracture of C4 with fragments compressing the cervical medulla. The woman subsequently died from hypoxic brain damage. Reviewing the literature, a high alertness in ankylosing spondylitis and minor trauma with neck immobilisation is emphasised, early diagnosis using cervical spine computed tomography is essential to a favourable outcome, and the mechanism of bradycardia in cervical trauma is discussed.
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Competing interests: none.
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