Variations in treatment of C1 fractures by time, age, and geographic region in the United States: An analysis of 985 patients

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Sheyan J. Armaghani
Zachary J. Grabel *
Catphuong Vu
S. Tim Yoon
(*) Corresponding Author:
Zachary J. Grabel |


The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the variations in the treatment of C1 fractures over time, by age group, and by geographic region using a nationwide database. The Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) database was queried to identify patients ≥18 years who sustained C1 fracture from 2006-2012. Patients were filtered based on the intervention they received: collar, halo, or surgery. Regions of hospital used in analysis were defined as Northeast, Midwest, South, and West. Surgical intervention for C1 fracture increased from 27.1% of cases in 2006 to 55.4% of cases in 2012 (P<0.001). The rate of collar treatment increased with increasing age. In contrast, rate of halo use decreased with increasing age. A greater proportion of patients in the Northeast were treated by collar compared to all other regions (P<0.001). We can conclude that there is considerable variation in the treatment of C1 fractures with regards to age and geographic region. Surgical treatment of these fractures is increasing over time. Future considerations should be given to developing treatment guidelines to decrease variation and potentially create cost-savings.

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