[Odontoid fractures with a poor final outcome in an elderly patient: presentation of a case and a review of the current literature]

Rev Esp Geriatr Gerontol. 2013 May-Jun;48(3):139-41. doi: 10.1016/j.regg.2012.10.006. Epub 2013 Mar 14.
[Article in Spanish]


Odontoid fractures are the most common cervical spine fracture in elderly patients, with falls being the most common mechanism of fracture in these patients. The clinical symptoms range from mild neck pain to quadriplegia, or even death. Treatment options include surgical and non surgical therapies, such as cervical collar or halo vest. We present the case of an 87 year-old patient with a history of recurrent falls and progressive loss of strength in all 4 extremities that worsened after a dental revision. The CT scan showed a cervical odontoid fracture, with displacement confirmed on MRI. Conservative treatment with a cervical collar was decided. The patient progressed poorly and died.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Odontoid Process / injuries*
  • Spinal Fractures* / complications
  • Spinal Fractures* / therapy