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Congenital defects of posterior arch of the atlas: a case report

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Author(s): Ozdolap S | Sarikaya S | Balbaloglu O | Kalayci M

Journal: Neuroanatomy
ISSN 1303-1783

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 72;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: neuroanatomy | anatomy | atlas | posterior arch | congenital defect

ABSTRACT
Our aim was to describe an unusual congenital anomaly of atlas and to emphasize its clinical significance. A 43-year old woman presented with occipital headache that was worse with hyperextension of neck. Patientdenied any neck pain and other neurological complain. On examination, the only positive finding on physical examination was moderate pain at the upper cervical andoccipital region throughout neck extension. The cranial nerve examination was unremarkable, and motor andsensory findings were normal. Plain cervical radiographs revealed bilateral defects in the posterior arch of atlasComputed tomography scans in flexion and extension positions showed no displacement or inward mobility ofthe posterior tubercle during extension of the cervical spine. No evidence of compression of the spinal cord wasdetected on magnetic resonance imaging. Congenital anomalies of the posterior arch of the atlas are very uncommon and usually asymptomaticNeurological presentations depend on type of defect of posterior arch of atlas. It is crucial to recognize thisdefect to prevent major neurological deficits.
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