Misdiagnosing absent pedicle of cervical spine in the acute trauma setting

  • Fahad H. Abduljabbar | fahadj@hotmail.com McGill Scoliosis and Spine Centre, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada; Department of Orthopedic Surgery, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
  • Felipe Rossel McGill Scoliosis and Spine Centre, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada.
  • Anas Nooh McGill Scoliosis and Spine Centre, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada; Department of Orthopedic Surgery, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
  • Peter Jarzem McGill Scoliosis and Spine Centre, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada.

Abstract

Congenital absence of cervical spine pedicle can be easily misdiagnosed as facet dislocation on plain radiographs especially in the acute trauma setting. Additional imaging, including computed tomography (CT)-scan with careful interpretation is required in order to not misdiagnose cervical posterior arch malformation with subsequent inappropriate management. A 39-year-old patient presented to the emergency unit of our university hospital after being trampled by a cow over her back and head followed by loss of consciousness, retrograde amnesia and neck pain. Her initial cervical CT-scan showed possible C5-C6 dislocation, then, it became clear that her problem was a misdiagnosed congenital cervical abnormality. Patient was treated symptomatically without consequences. The congenital absence of a cervical pedicle is a very unusual condition that is easily misdiagnosed. Diagnosis can be accurately confirmed with a CT-scan of the cervical spine. Symptomatic conservative treatment will result in resolution of the symptoms.

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Published
2015-09-28
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Issue
Section
Case Reports
Keywords:
Absent pedicle, cervical spine, congenital abnormalities
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How to Cite
Abduljabbar, F. H., Rossel, F., Nooh, A., & Jarzem, P. (2015). Misdiagnosing absent pedicle of cervical spine in the acute trauma setting. Orthopedic Reviews, 7(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/or.2015.5889