Case: Odontoid Fracture

Patient with Serious Neck Fracture, Returns to Health
Patient History

A 74 year old male sustained a non-displaced odontoid fracture. He was managed for 2 months at an outside hospital. After two months the fracture became displaced. It was at this time that the patient was sent to see Dr. Rahman.

Physical Examination and Diagnosis

Dr. Rahman examined the patient and ordered and reviewed various imaging studies. The patient described significant neck pain. Upon review of the imaging studies, Dr. Rahman noted significant joint dislocation and C2 (odontoid fracture) displacement (Fig.1).

Odontoid Fracture

Fig 1: Arrow indicates displaced joint.

Odontoid Fracture

Fig. 2: 3D image of neck, showing displacement—the red dot should be on top of the yellow dot.


Dr. Rahman used specially designed rods and screws to realign and stabilize the displaced vertebra (Fig. 3).

Odontoid Fracture

Fig. 3: Post surgery, 3D CT shows approproate realignment and stabilization of displaced vertebra.


The patient experienced immediate relief of preoperative neck pain, and quickly able to walk without his head sagging downward. His recovery was sufficient to enable acceptance into an intensive rehab unit, where he made steady progress to achieve pre injury state of health.