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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 173-179

Clinical relevance of occipital condyle fractures

1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Netherlands
2 Department of Medical Imaging, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Netherlands
3 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen; Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, Netherlands

Correspondence Address:
Stijn J Van der Burg
Spiegeltuin 104, 5223MZ, 's-Hertogenbosch
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_100_20

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Context: No consensus about classification, treatment, and clinical relevance of occipital condyle fractures (OCFs) exists. Aims: The aim of the study was to determine radiological, clinical, and functional outcome of OCFs and thereby determine its clinical relevance. Settings and Design: This was a retrospective analysis of a prospective follow-up study. Materials and Methods: From May 2005 to May 2008, all OCFs were included from a Level-1 trauma center. Patient files were reviewed for patient and fracture characteristics. Fracture classification was done according to the Anderson criteria. Clinical outcome was assessed by completing two questionnaires, radiological outcome by computed tomography imaging, and functional outcome by measuring active cervical range of motion using a Cybex EDI-320. Statistical Analysis Used: A Fisher's exact Test was used in categorical variables and a one-sample t-test for comparing means of active cervical range of motion in occipital fracture patients with normal values. An independent samples t-test was carried out to compare the means of groups with and without accompanying cervical fractures for each motion. Results: Thirty-nine patients were included (4 type I, 16 type II, and 19 type III). Twenty-seven patients completed follow-up, of whom 26 were treated conservatively. Fracture healing was established in 25 of 28 fractures at a median follow-up of 19 months. Eleven patients had none to minimal pain or disability at follow-up, 12 had mild, and two had moderate pain or disability on questionnaires. No statistically significant difference in active cervical range of motion was identified comparing means stratified for accompanying cervical fractures. Conclusions: Conservatively treated patients with an OCF generally show favorable radiological and clinical outcome.

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