Which physical findings of the neck are characteristic of Down syndrome?

Updated: Apr 30, 2018
  • Author: Gratias Tom Mundakel, MBBS, DCH; Chief Editor: Maria Descartes, MD  more...
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Answer

The neck is typically broad and short, with excess skin on the back. Atlantoaxial instability (14%) can result from laxity of transverse ligaments that ordinarily hold the odontoid process close to the anterior arch of the atlas. Laxity can cause backward displacement of the odontoid process, leading to spinal cord compression in about 2% of children with Down syndrome.


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