Traumatic occipital condyle fracture, multiple cranial nerve palsies, and torticollis: a case report and review of the literature

Surg Neurol. 1992 Aug;38(2):152-6. doi: 10.1016/0090-3019(92)90094-4.


A 32-year-old man sustained a unique combination of injuries: an occipital condyle fracture, left tenth to twelfth cranial nerve palsies, and chronic torticollis secondary to atlantoaxial rotatory fixation. Computed tomography (CT) demonstrated a triangular fragment of bone in the posterior fossa, and three-dimensional CT-reconstructed images confirmed the bone fragment to be from the occipital condyle. The patient made a good recovery with conservative management. Few occipital condyle fractures have been reported, and they should be suspected in patients who sustain painful neck and lower cranial nerve palsy following trauma. CT and plain films are complementary in confirming the diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / complications*
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / surgery
  • Fractures, Bone / complications*
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occipital Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Occipital Bone / injuries*
  • Occipital Bone / surgery
  • Paralysis / complications*
  • Paralysis / diagnostic imaging
  • Paralysis / surgery
  • Radiography
  • Torticollis / complications*
  • Torticollis / diagnostic imaging
  • Torticollis / surgery