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|Title:||Bilateral occipital condyle fractures leading to retropharyngeal haematoma and acute respiratory distress|
|Citation:||Injury-international Journal of the Care of the Injured, 2005; 36(1):207-212|
|Publisher:||Elsevier Sci Ltd|
|Brian J. C. Freeman and Hannes Behensky|
|Abstract:||Injuries to the occipito-cervical junction are rare and not easily diagnosed on conventional radiographs. The authors report such a case where the diagnosis was delayed. The patient developed a significant retrophyarngeal haematoma resulting in acute respiratory distress and required emergency endotracheal intubation. The patient remained intubated for five days and received a tapered dose of intravenous dexamethazone to reduce swelling in the proximity of the airway. At six weeks the patient had developed a left hypoglossal nerve palsy that persisted at 12 months. Occipital condyle fractures and the difficulties of diagnosis are discussed. The importance of measuring pre-vertebral soft tissue swelling on lateral radiographs is emphasized. Computed tomography of the C0–C2 region should be performed to identify base of skull and upper cervical fractures.|
|Keywords:||Occipital condyle fracture; Delayed diagnosis; Respiratory compromise|
|Appears in Collections:||Orthopaedics and Trauma publications|
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