Cervical dislocations without fatal results are of more frequent occurrence than is generally thought. Because of its supposed rarity cervical dislocation has not received the attention and investigation that its importance deserves. However, the condition has been rather fully discussed by Walton1 and Scudder,2 and cases have been reported by Barnett,3 Erickson,4 Huff,5 Langworthy,6 Speed,7 Wusthoff8 and others.
These dislocations are produced by carrying the movements of rotation and abduction beyond their normal limits, by any force which overabducts or overrotates the upper part of the spinal column. The force may be an external one or one developed by the muscles attached to the head (Stimson).
The symptoms vary greatly from paralysis or death when there is compression of the cord, as usually occurs in bilateral dislocation, to a posture of the head simulating a torticollis, and they may even go unrecognized.
MARSHALL VF, REED CC. REDUCTION OF CERVICAL DISLOCATION: REPORT OF A SUCCESSFUL CASE. JAMA. 1927;89(3):191–192. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690030023009
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