J Korean Orthop Assoc.  2007 Aug;42(4):559-564. 10.4055/jkoa.2007.42.4.559.

Coincidental Congenital Absence of the Posterior Arch of the Atlas and the Unilateral Lumbosacral Articular Process: A Case Report

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Ajou University College of Medicine, Suwon, Korea. chjeon@ajou.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hallim Medical Center, Chuncheon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Radiology, Ajou University College of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.

Abstract

We encountered a case of coincidental congenital complete absence of the posterior arch of the atlas and the unilateral lumbosacral articular process. A 21-year-old man presented with pain in the lower back and right buttock. The patient was a swimming coach. On plain radiography, computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, the congenital absence of the unilateral lumbosacral articular process was noted. Six months later, the patient developed severe neck pain and suboccipital headaches without neurological signs. On plain radiography and computerized tomography, the congenital complete absence of the posterior arch of the atlas was noted. Magnetic resonance imaging showed no abnormal signs originating from the posterior spinal cord. There was no segmental instability. For this case, the lower back pain and neck pain were managed by conservative treatment. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of a coincidental congenital complete absence of the posterior arch of the atlas and the unilateral lumbosacral articular process.

Keyword

Congenital anomaly; Articular process; Lumbar spine; Atlas; Posterior arch
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