Spontaneous fracture of the odontoid process in rheumatoid arthritis

Y. Toyama, K. Hirabayashi, Y. Fujimura, K. Satomi

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Abstract

Six cases of spontaneous fracture of the odontoid process in rheumatoid arthritis are presented. Fifty-one patients with atlantoaxial subluxation in rheumatoid arthritis underwent surgery between 1981 and 1990. This included six patients (in 10%) who had subluxation accompanied by fracture of the odontoid without apparent trauma. The mean patient age was 58 years and all had a long history of rheumatoid arthritis. No trauma was considered to be the cause of the fracture. This is a fracture caused by erosion and osteoporosis of the odontoid process due to rheumatoid synovitis, aging and steroid therapy. In addition, another cause is a dynamic load produced from the instability accompanying atlantoaxial subluxation working on the odontoid in cervical extension. It is important remember that the odontoid process is susceptible to spontaneous fracture.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSpine
Volume17
Issue number10 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - 1992

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Keywords

  • odontoid process
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • spontaneous fracture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this

Toyama, Y., Hirabayashi, K., Fujimura, Y., & Satomi, K. (1992). Spontaneous fracture of the odontoid process in rheumatoid arthritis. Spine, 17(10 SUPPL.).