Jefferson fracture

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Fracture of the anterior and posterior arches of C1. Results from compression of the second vertebra or hyperextension of the neck causing a posterior break.

Non-surgical treatment varies depending on if the fracture is stable or unstable, defined by an intact or broken transverse ligament and degree of fracture of the anterior arch. An intact ligament requires the use of a soft or hard collar, while a ruptured ligament may require traction, a halo or surgery. Surgical treatment of a Jefferson fracture involves fusion or fixation of the first three cervical vertebrae and has a good prognosis.

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