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What causes discomfort around neck area?

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Posted on Thu, 12 Feb 2015
Question: I have a lot of discomfort in my neck area. My GP sent me for xrays and than an xray which showed a widening of the atlantoaxial distance at c1/2 of 5mm. My question is will this require surgery and if so what can they do.
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Answered by Dr. Suresh Heijebu (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Surgery is the likely treatment of choice in your case

Detailed Answer:
Hi Mam.

I understand your query and concern.

A distance greater than 3 mm usually indicates Atlantoaxial instability/AAI with possible injury to transverse cervical ligament.

In most cases the injury is purely ligamentous and is unlikely to heal.

Therefore these injuries are always treated through surgery with posterior C1-C2 FUSION.

Posterior cervical spinal fusion can successfully treat all symptomatic cases in AAI with ligamentous injury.

If CT scan revealed a bony avulsion injury as a source of failure,a trial of halo bracing(non surgical) may be tried.

Hence I advise you to have a Confirmatory CT scan of the area before validating the above results.

Post your further queries,if any.
Thank you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Bhagyalaxmi Nalaparaju
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Answered by
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Dr. Suresh Heijebu

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2010

Answered : 3659 Questions

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What causes discomfort around neck area?

Brief Answer: Surgery is the likely treatment of choice in your case Detailed Answer: Hi Mam. I understand your query and concern. A distance greater than 3 mm usually indicates Atlantoaxial instability/AAI with possible injury to transverse cervical ligament. In most cases the injury is purely ligamentous and is unlikely to heal. Therefore these injuries are always treated through surgery with posterior C1-C2 FUSION. Posterior cervical spinal fusion can successfully treat all symptomatic cases in AAI with ligamentous injury. If CT scan revealed a bony avulsion injury as a source of failure,a trial of halo bracing(non surgical) may be tried. Hence I advise you to have a Confirmatory CT scan of the area before validating the above results. Post your further queries,if any. Thank you.