A hangman’s fracture is the colloquial name given to a fracture of both pedicles or pars interarticularis of the axis vertebra (C2). The cause of these types of injuries includes hanging and forceful hyperextensions centered just under the chin. Examples include motor vehicle accidents, falls, diving injuries, judicial hangings, and various types of collisions. In this particular project, we were asked to examine morbidities and long-term outcomes associated with these types of injuries and produce search results and relevant publications.
Although a hangman’s fracture is unstable, survival from this fracture is relatively common, as the fracture itself tends to expand the spinal canal at the C2 level. It is not unusual for patients to walk in for treatment and have such a fracture discovered on X-rays. Only if the force of the injury is severe enough that the vertebral body of C2 is severely subluxed from C3 does the spinal cord become crushed, usually between the vertebral body of C3 and the posterior elements of C1 and C2 (ref).
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