Asian Spine J.  2012 Dec;6(4):284-286.

Hypertrophic Posterior Arch of Atlas Causing Cervical Myelopathy

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, USA.


Cervical stenosis, especially of the upper cervical spine, is quite rare which can be developmental or acquired. Clefts or aplasias of anterior and posterior arches of atlas, ossification of the transverse atlantal ligament, hypertrophy of the dens and os odontoideum are rare conditions causing cervical myelopathy reported either singly or in combination. Hypertrophy of the posterior arch of atlas in the absence of any ring hypoplasia as a cause of cervical myelopathy has not been reported earlier. The authors report a case of cervical myelopathy in a 26-year-old female due to hypertrophied posterior arch of atlas which was preoperatively diagnosed as a bony tumor. Being aware of such an entity may avoid diagnostic surprises and facilitate patient prognostication and management.


Hypertrophy; Cervical atlas; Spinal cord disease; Cervical
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