A Review of the Diagnosis and Treatment of Atlantoaxial Dislocations
20 August 2013
15 April 2014
22 May 2014 (eFirst)
Study Design Literature review.
Objective Atlantoaxial dislocation (AAD) is a rare and potentially fatal disturbance to the normal occipital-cervical anatomy that affects some populations disproportionately, which may cause permanent neurologic deficits or sagittal deformity if not treated in a timely and appropriate manner. Currently, there is a lack of consensus among surgeons on the best approach to diagnose, characterize, and treat this condition. The objective of this review is to provide a comprehensive review of the literature to identify timely and effective diagnostic techniques and treatment modalities of AAD.
Methods This review examined all articles published concerning “atlantoaxial dislocation” or “atlantoaxial subluxation” on the PubMed database. We included 112 articles published between 1966 and 2014.
Results Results of these studies are summarized primarily as defining AAD, the normal anatomy, etiology of dislocation, clinical presentation, diagnostic techniques, classification, and recommendations for timely treatment modalities.
Conclusions The Wang Classification System provides a practical means to diagnose and treat AAD. However, future research is required to identify the most salient intervention component or combination of components that lead to the best outcomes.