[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type II odontoid fractures are reportedly increasing in incidence and occur primarily in the elderly. Neurologic deficits (ND) at presentation add to the morbidity of these fractures; however, reports are limited as a result of small case series. It is unclear what specific complications are associated with ND and whether these result in increased incidence of mortality.
We established the incidence of ND with Type II odontoid fractures and determined if ND are associated with increased inpatient mortality and morbidity during hospitalization.
Twenty patients with acute Type II odontoid fracture and ND were identified from our institutional database. Baseline presenting characteristics and hospital course data were collected. The cohort was compared with a previously published cohort of 188 patients without ND by age, mechanism of injury, displacement, associated spinal injuries, comorbidities, treatment, mortality, and complications. Patients were only followed during acute-care hospitalization (mean, 11.9 days; range, 0-41 days).
The incidence of ND among all Type II odontoid fractures was 9.6%. Ten of 20 patients with Type II odontoid fractures and ND died during hospitalization, and patients with complete cord injuries were 9.33 (95% confidence interval, 1.19-73.0) times more likely to die. Patients with ND experienced more complications and more respiratory complications than those without ND.
ND after Type II odontoid fractures is a rare event associated with a high risk of early and rapid clinical decline.
Level III, prognostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 08/2011; 470(6):1614-20. · 2.53 Impact Factor