Fractures of the odontoid process in young children.

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Abstract

We reviewed eleven patients less than seven years old with fractures of the odontoid process in an effort to establish a more standard form of treatment for the injury and to determine what complications, if any, occur as a result of fractures of the odontoid process in pediatric patients. Our study showed that children with odontoid fractures that are recognized and treated promptly usually do well. The fracture can usually be reduced by passive manipulation or by the "hanging head technique". Support in the reduced position for two to three months in a Minerva jacket or halo cast should be long enough to permit healing. Our study suggests that fractures of the odontoid process in young patients almost always heal.

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