Craniocervical junction abnormalities are essentially cervical spine defects in the highly complex area where the upper cervical spine and skull join together. These abnormalities can squeeze and damage the spinal cord nerves, which lead directly to the brainstem and brain. Craniocervical abnormalities may weaken the spine and cause serious neurological disorders. Symptoms of this condition include:
While craniocervical abnormalities may be present at birth, they may also develop later in life as a result of disorders or injuries.
Craniocervical abnormalities must be diagnosed through a CT scan or MRI. After diagnosis, the treatment typically involves reduction then stabilization with an external device or through surgery. The surgical treatments may include: