In 1935 we1 called attention to spontaneous atlantoaxial dislocations occurring in childhood. At that time we advanced some original concepts concerning the pathogenesis and mechanism of this condition and concerning the absence of symptoms referable to the spinal cord. We felt that these dislocations were all rotary and unilateral. Evidence was adduced to show that the odontoid process was the pivotal point and that the transverse ligament remained intact. The absence of symptoms referable to the spinal cord was emphasized because there is no reduction in size of the spinal canal and consequently no encroachment on the cord. This is consistent with the absence of symptoms referable to the cord in cases of traumatic uncomplicated unilateral rotary atlantoaxial dislocations.
We also suggested the importance of prophylactic measures in the management of suppurative conditions about the head and neck in order to avoid this complication. Stress was laid on repeated
HESS JH, ABELSON SM, BRONSTEIN IP. SPONTANEOUS ATLANTOAXIAL DISLOCATIONS: POSSIBLE RELATION TO DEFORMITY OF SPINE. Am J Dis Child. 1942;64(1):51–54. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1942.02010070052006
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