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Nontraumatic Spinal Subluxation

By Alfred J. Cianflocco, MD, FAAFP, Director, Primary Care Sports Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Sports Health, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Cleveland Clinic

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Spinal dislocation and subluxation (partial dislocation) are usually due to trauma. For example, atlantoaxial subluxation and spondylolisthesis can result from obvious major trauma, such as a high-speed deceleration injury. However, these disorders can occur with minimal, unrecognized, or no trauma. Rarely, cervical disk disorders can cause nontraumatic spinal subluxation.