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School of Medicine




Background. C2 cervical fractures account for approximately 18% of cervical spine injuries. Few studies have examined patients presenting to an emergency department (ED) with this injury relative to demographics, injury mechanism, and hospital course. Objectives. To compare multiple variables of ED patients presenting with these types of injuries. Methods. In this retrospective cohort study, data were obtained from the Trauma Registry of an academic trauma referral center from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2015. Patients who presented with a C2 fracture were identified. Information regarding the patient’s gender, age, mechanism of injury, associated injuries, if a procedure was required, disposition, and mortality was extracted. Comparative analyses were conducted between cases over or under age 60.Results. Between January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2015, a total of 139 patients with C2 fractures were identified. Most patients were 60 years or older (79%). Of those, 62% were female, and falls were the most common mechanism (78%). Of those under 60, 50% were female and motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) were the most common mechanism (71%). Odontoid fractures comprised 84% of C2 fractures. Only 6% had an associated spinal cord injury. Less than one-third of patients required operative intervention for their spinal injuries, and intervention was more common in older patients. Following admission, 19% of patients required placement into a nursing home or skilled nursing facility. Conclusions. C2 fractures are more common in older adults and usually resulted from falls. Odontoid fractures are most common. Most C2 fractures do not result in neurologic injury, and only a third were treated surgically. However, several patients were unable to return to their homes following their injury.

Source Citation

Tadros, A., Sharon, M., Craig, K., & Krantz, W. (2019). Characteristics and Management of Emergency Department Patients Presenting with C2 Cervical Spine Fractures. BioMed Research International, 2019, 1–7.


Copyright © 2019 Allison Tadros et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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