Surgical correction of cervical hyperextension in rigid spine syndrome

S. Giannini, F. Ceccarelli, C. Granata, T. Capelli, L. Merlini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rigid spine syndrome is a condition characterized by mild axial and proximal myopathy in which the fibrous shortening of spinal extensor muscles causes a marked limitation in flexion of the spine. This 10-year-old boy with rigid spine syndrome showed a progressive limitation in flexion of the cervical spine with fixed hyperextension of the neck. To look forward he had to bend forward his trunk flexing hips and knees. An X-ray study demonstrated a progressive limitation in flexion but also in extension of the cervical spine. A particular radiologic aspect named 'Alligator sign' was demonstrated. The hyperextension of the neck was corrected surgically by opening the interspinous spaces from C2 to C7 through a capsulotomy. The correction was stabilized with bone grafts fixed to the spinous processes. This boy with the straightened cervical spine was then able to look forward without any compensatory posture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-108
Number of pages4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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