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27 March 2016 : Case report

Positive Outcome After a Small-Caliber Gunshot Fracture of the Upper Cervical Spine without Neurovascular Damage

Thula WalterABCDEF, Philipp SchwabeCDEF, Klaus-Dieter SchaserBCDEF, Martin MaurerABCDEF

DOI: 10.12659/PJR.895529

Pol J Radiol 2016; 81:134-137

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Gunshot wounds to the cervical spine most frequently concur with serious injuries to the spinal cord and cervical vessels and often have a fatal outcome.

CASE REPORT: We describe the case of a 35-year-old male with a complex fracture of the C2 vertebra body and a mandibular fracture after a penetration gunshot to the cervical spine. Computed tomography (CT) at admission revealed the exact extent of the fractures and the small caliber bullet lodged next to the C2 vertebra. In this rare and extremely lucky case no collateral vascular or neurological damage was detected. Eighteen months after surgical bullet removal and posterior C1–C3 fusion complete bone healing of the C2 vertebra was achieved and there were no secondary neurovascular deficits.

CONCLUSIONS: Immediate surgical C1–C3 fixation resulted in an excellent outcome without secondary neurovascular deficits in this rare case of traumatic complex C2 vertebral fracture caused by a gunshot injury.

Keywords: Axis, Spinal Fractures, Tomography Scanners, X-Ray Computed, Trauma, Nervous System, Wounds, Gunshot

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750