Jefferson fracture resulting in Collet-Sicard syndrome

Brendon Connolly, Clayton Turner, John Glenden DeVine, Tad Gerlinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Study Design. A case report and review of the literature. Objective. To increase awareness of and add to the spectrum of injury that can result from Jefferson fractures, to suggest a possible mechanism of injury, and to give a brief review of pertinent facts regarding C1 burst fractures and the Collet- Sicard Syndrome. Summary of Background Data. To the author's knowledge, this is the first reported case of a Jefferson fracture resulting in Collet-Sicard Syndrome. It represents only the second reported case of cranial nerve palsy caused by Jefferson fracture. Methods. A 56-year-old man sustained a C1 burst fracture in a rollover motor vehicle accident. Repeated neurologic examinations over the ensuing days revealed lesions of cranial nerves IX, X, XI, and XII on the left side. Results. Two weeks of traction, 10 weeks in a halo vest, and 2 weeks in a cervical collar resulted in adequate fracture healing and almost complete resolution of the patient's neurologic symptoms. Conclusion. Although this is the first reported case of Collet-Sicard Syndrome caused by Jefferson fracture, the authors' review of the literature suggests that cranial nerve injuries may go unrecognized in some patients with C1 burst fractures. The importance of a thorough neurologic examination, including examination of the cranial nerves, in all cases of cervical spine injury cannot be overemphasized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-398
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Collet-Sicard Syndrome
  • Cranial nerve palsy
  • Jefferson fracture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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