Personalized treatments for people with back pain and spine disorders
Published: Sept. 29, 2010
Updated: Nov. 17, 2010
Platybasia is a malformation at the base of the skull. This increases the angle between the skull and upper cervical spine.
Platybasia can be present at birth or caused by softening of the bones by conditions such as Paget’s disease.
The most common symptom is neck pain, which may or may not be accompanied by a headache. In severe cases associated with brain stem or spinal cord compression, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the extremities can occur.
Your physician may order a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan in order to diagnose platybasia.
If the spinal cord is compressed, treatment involves reduction (manipulating the head in a way that takes pressure off of the spinal cord) and stabilization of the region. Stabilization can be accomplished with a halo vest or surgery. If these measures do not relieve pressure from the spinal cord, surgery to directly decompress the spinal cord and brain stem may be necessary.
The experts at the Duke Spine Center offer the most advanced and skilled treatment of platybasia.