A patient with an odontoid fracture and atrophy of the tongue: a case report and systematic review of the literature: a case report and systematic review of the literature

Krista Kuitwaard, William P. Vandertop

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6 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Traumatic hypoglossal nerve palsy is a rare entity and has rarely been described in association with an odontoid fracture. CASE DESCRIPTION: We present a patient with a posttraumatic odontoid fracture who developed selective weakness of his arms and a unilateral hypoglossal nerve palsy. A systematic review of the literature is presented, and hypothetical causes for the injury are discussed. CONCLUSION: Bell's cruciate paralysis and central cord syndrome are probably expressions of the same mechanism rather than 2 separate entities based on a preferential damage of pyramidal crossing arm fibers. C2 fractures with concomitant lower cranial nerve injury are relatively rare and have a reasonably good outcome, especially when unilateral
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-32, discussion 532-3
JournalSurgical neurology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atrophy
  • Cervical Vertebrae/injuries
  • Fractures, Closed/complications
  • Humans
  • Hypoglossal Nerve Diseases/etiology
  • Male
  • Odontoid Process/injuries
  • Syndrome
  • Tongue/pathology

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