Atlantoaxial Dislocation

Atlantoaxial dislocation is dislocation of the first two bones in the neck (atlas and axis). Symptoms may not be present if the dislocation is mild.

Very rarely, dislocation of these bones can be severe, leading to spinal cord compression. Symptoms of severe atlantoaxial dislocation with spinal cord compression include:

  • Neck pain.
  • Change in walking ability.
  • Weakness in the arms and legs.
  • Limited neck movement.
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control.
  • Difficulty breathing.

Call the doctor right away if a person of any age has these symptoms.

Last Revised: July 1, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics

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