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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.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSusan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerLouis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Last RevisedJuly 20, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 20, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.