Occipital Condyle Fracture
What are Occipital Condyles?
Your occipital condyles are two bony surfaces at the base of your
skull. This is where your skull meets the first bone (vertebra) of
your spine. This part of your body is full of muscles and ligaments.
They keep your head upright and moving as it should. This place
has all the nerves running through it that are responsible for all your
What does it mean to fracture this bone?
Fractures of this bone can be either linear or compressed. A linear
fracture is like a crack in a wall. Linear fractures are most often
very stable. They just need time to heal. A compressed fracture is
like a wall that has a place pushed in. Compressed fractures may
cause damage to other tissues nearby. You may need surgery to
If you have a fracture of your occipital condyle, you may need to wear a PMT collar (neck brace)
or a “halo” brace. The brace keeps your neck stable and allows your bones to heal. Although
you may not have a neck injury, the brace helps by keeping the weight of your head off of the
bones where your head and neck meet. The brace is a key factor in letting the fractures heal
properly. It prevents any injury to the spinal cord that runs through this site. A spinal cord injury
in that site might cause paralysis and even death. For this reason, it is very important to follow
your health care team’s instructions in wearing your brace and caring for yourself.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 11/2015 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6896