Common questions

What happens atlantoaxial subluxation?

What happens atlantoaxial subluxation?

Atlantoaxial subluxation is usually asymptomatic but may cause vague neck pain, occipital headache, or occasionally intermittent (and potentially fatal) cervical spinal cord compression.

What are the symptoms of atlantoaxial instability?

Neurologic manifestations include clumsiness, lack of coordination, abnormal gait, difficulty walking, easy fatigability, neck pain, limited next mobility, torticollis, sensory deficits, neurogenic bladder, upper motor neuron signs (spasticity, hyperreflexia, clonus, Babinski sign), paraplegia, hemiplegia, and …

How is atlantoaxial subluxation diagnosed?

Neutral and dynamic cervical radiographs are often used to diagnose atlantoaxial instability and dislocation, but the diagnostic sensitivity is low.

How do you assess for atlantoaxial instability?

The patient is asked to slowly flex the head performing a slight cervical nod, at the same time the examiner presses posteriorly on the patient’s forehead. A sliding motion of the head in relation to the axis indicates atlantoaxial instability.

What are the symptoms of subluxation?


  • Pain and swelling around the joint.
  • A sensation of joint instability.
  • Limited mobility or the loss of range of motion.
  • Loss of feeling or numbness (usually temporary)
  • Bruising1

What causes C1-C2 subluxation?

Rotational subluxation or dislocation of C1 on C2. Can develop from osseous or ligamentous abnormalities resulting from acquired or congenital disorders. As a result of instability, excessive motion and spinal cord compression may occur at the atlantoaxial joint.

What does it mean to have atlanto-axial subluxation?

Atlanto-axial subluxation. Dr Yuranga Weerakkody ◉ and Rishi Agrawal et al. Atlanto-axial subluxation is a disorder of C1-C2 causing impairment in rotation of the neck. The anterior facet of C1 is fixed on the facet of C2. It may be associated with dislocation of the lateral mass of C1 on C2.

Is the ostearthritis of the atlanto-odentoid joint gender dependent?

The presence or severity of ostearthritis of the atlanto-odentoid joint is not gender dependent. (Level of evidence 2B, Level of evidence 2B) The incidence of atlanto-odontoid degeneration is very high in patients who have had an odontoid fracture but it’s remarkable that the lateral atlantoaxial joints are relatively spared.

How does degeneration of the atlantodens contribute to pain?

Degenerative changes of atlantodens and atlanto-axial facet joints can contribute to pain, and motion and sensory limitations that increase exponentially with age. : A unilateral neck pain occurs with the slightest head rotation. The pain ascends unilaterally to the occiput, the parietal skull and sometimes even to the eye.

When to use atlantoaxial osteoarthritis as differential diagnosis?

It is also important that atlantoaxial joint osteoarthritis should be considered in the differential diagnosis in elderly patients examined for neck pain with or without progressive quadriparesis. The identification of a periodontoid ligamentous degenerative mass suggests the presence of instability of the atlantoaxial joint.

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