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July 3, 2019

Ulceration and Alopecia of the Scalp Owing to C2 Radiculoneuropathy Following Posterior Atlanto-Axial Fixation

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology, Spine Unit, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland
JAMA Dermatol. 2019;155(8):981-982. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2019.1115

Cutaneous ulcerations of the scalp are infrequent and pose a diagnostic challenge. Infectious origins, malignant diseases, vasculitides, neutrophilic dermatoses, and trigeminal trophic syndromes should be considered.1 This report describes a patient with alopecia and an ulcer in the occipital region of the scalp, which developed following atlanto-axial fixation surgery of the cervical spine resulting in C2 nerve dysfunction. Cutaneous complications of atlanto-axial fixation surgery have been so far underreported in the dermatological and the orthopedic literature.1-3