Fracture of the bamboo spine (chronic ankylosing spondylitis) after cervical injury
Ali Akhaddar, Mohcine Salami
The Pan African Medical Journal. ;17:113. doi:10.11604/pamj..17.113.3888

Create an account  |  Sign in
PAMJ - Clinical Medicine PAMJ - Clinical Medicine
"Better health through knowledge sharing and information dissemination "

Images in clinical medicine

Fracture of the bamboo spine (chronic ankylosing spondylitis) after cervical injury

Ali Akhaddar, Mohcine Salami
Pan Afr Med J. 2014; 17:113. doi:10.11604/pamj.2014.17.113.3888. Published 17 Feb 2014

A 59-year-old man with a history of chronic ankylosing spondylitis for many years, developed neck pain and left cervico-brachial neuralgia following a road traffic accident sustained one week before. Plain radiographs of cervical spine were initially misinterpreted. On examination, he had severe neck pain on mobilization without any neurological deficits. Delayed cervical computed tomography scan showed ossification of the anterior longitudinal ligament, calcification of the intervertebral discs and complete vertebral fusion (so called bamboo spine) with transversal fracture at C5-C6 disc level (so called carrot-stick fracture) causing a luxation of the cervical spine with significant compromise in canal space (A and B). A transcranial spinal traction was performed followed by anterior decompression and stabilization via an anterolateral cervical approach. The outcome was favourable. Transverse fractures of the spine are rare in patients with ankylosing spondylitis and diagnosis should be considered following even minor trauma. These atypical unstable fractures occur because of the loss of flexibility and fragility of the osteoporotic spine. Early diagnosis for possible intervention is important because of the high mortality rate.

Corresponding author:
Ali Akhaddar, Department of Neurosurgery, Avicenne Military Hospital, Marrakech, Morocco

©Ali Akhaddar et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

More images in clinical medicine


PAMJ Images in Medicine and Public Health are archived on Pubmed Central. Access PAMJ archives on PMC here

Volume 34 (September - December 2019)

This image

Share this image:

Filter images [Reset filter]

By language

PAMJ is published in collaboration with the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET)
Currently tracked by: DOAJ, AIM, Google Scholar, AJOL, EBSCO, Scopus, Embase, IC, HINARI, Global Health, PubMed Central, PubMed/Medline, Ulrichsweb, More to come . Member of COPE.

ISSN: 1937-8688. © 2019 - Pan African Medical Journal. All rights reserved