Osteomyelitis of the odontoid process

T. J. Limbird, G. W. Brick, H. J. Boulas, R. W. Bucholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Pyogenic osteomyelitis of the odontoid process is a rare condition requiring a high index of suspicion for diagnosis. The three cases presented illustrate that patients with severe neck pain, aggravated by rotation, and persistent fever without apparent source should be studied carefully to exclude infection of the C1-C2 area. The unusual anatomy of the C1-C2 articulation may make routine diagnostic studies difficult to interpret. Computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and111In-labeled white blood cell scans may improve diagnostic accuracy. Treatment includes rigid immobilization, high dose antibiotics, and surgical stabilization in selected cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-74
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Spinal Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988


  • Infection
  • Odontoid cervical spine
  • Osteomyelitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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