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Anterior cervical subluxation

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Anterior subluxation of the cervical spine from flexion-rotational violence is often overlooked. Either radiography is omitted or the slight displacement visible on the films is not recognised. A method for recognising these injuries is suggested. Five cases are described showing that in these subluxations the soft-tissue damage is severe, that late increasing displacement can occur, with varying neurological sequelae, and that instability can persist indefinitely. Four of the patients required stabilisation by operation, in contrast with complete dislocations in which 80 to 90 per cent fuse spontaneously.

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