C1 lateral mass fixation: a comparison of constructs.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0112, USA.
Neurosurgery (Impact Factor: 3.03). 03/2010; 66(3 Suppl):153-60. DOI: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000365804.75511.E2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We review our experience and technique for C1 lateral mass screw fixation. We compare the results of 3 different constructs incorporating C1 lateral mass screws: occipitocervical (OC) constructs, C1-C2 constructs, and C1 to mid/low cervical constructs.
We performed a retrospective chart review of 42 consecutive patients who underwent C1 lateral mass fixation by 2 of the authors (PVM and DC). The patient population consisted of 24 men and 18 women with a mean age of 64 years. Twenty-two patients had C1-C2 constructs. Twelve patients had constructs that started at C1 and extended to the mid/low cervical spine (one extended to T1). Eight patients underwent OC fusions incorporating C1 screws (2 of which were OC-thoracic constructs). All constructs were combined either with a C2 pars screw (38 patients), C2 translaminar screw (1 patient), or C3 lateral mass screw (3 patients). No C2 pedicle screws were used. Fusion was assessed using flexion-extension x-rays in all patients and computed tomographic scans in selected cases. Clinical outcomes were assessed with preoperative and postoperative visual analog scale neck pain scores and Nurick grading. The nuances of the surgical technique are reviewed, and a surgical video is included.
Two patients (5%) were lost to follow-up. The mean follow-up for the remaining patients was 2 years. During the follow-up period, there were 4 deaths (none of which were related to the surgery). For patients with follow-up, the visual analog scale neck pain score improved a mean of 3 points after surgery (P < .001). For patients with myelopathy, the Nurick score improved by a mean of 1 grade after surgery (P < .001). The postoperative complication rate was 12%. The complication rate was 38% in OC constructs, 17% in C1 to mid/low cervical constructs, and 0% for C1-C2 construct cases. Patients with OC constructs had the statistically highest rate of complications (P < .001). Patients with C1 to mid/low cervical constructs had more complications than those with C1-C2 constructs (P < .001). Of the 42 cases, there were 3 pseudoarthroses (1 in an OC case, 1 in a C1 to midcervical construct, and 1 in a C1-C2 construct). OC constructs had the highest risk of pseudoarthrosis (13%) (P < .001).
Patients treated with C1 lateral mass fixation constructs have a high fusion rate, reduced neck pain, and improved neurologic function. Constructs using C1 lateral mass screws do not need to incorporate C2 pedicle screws. Constructs incorporating C1 lateral mass screws are effective when combined with C2 pars screws, C2 translaminar screws, and C3 lateral mass screws. Constructs using C1 screws are associated with a higher complication rate and a higher pseudoarthrosis rate if extended cranially to the occiput or if extended caudally below C2.

  • World Neurosurgery 05/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.wneu.2014.04.072 · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Posterior, atlantoaxial (AA) fusions of the cervical spine may include either standard (26 mm) or short (16 mm) C2 pedicle screws. This manuscript focused on an in vitro biomechanical comparison of standard versus short C2 pedicle screws to perform posterior C1-C2 AA fusions. Methods: Twelve human cadaveric spines underwent C1 lateral mass screw and standard C2 pedicle screw (n = 6) versus short C2 pedicle screw (n = 6) fixation. Six additional controls were not instrumented. The peak torque, peak rotational interval, and peak stiffness of the constructs were analyzed to failure levels. Results: The peak torque to construct failure was not statistically significantly different among the control spine (12.2 Nm), short pedicle fixation (15.5 Nm), or the standard pedicle fixation (11.6 Nm), P = 0.79. While the angle at the peak rotation statistically significantly differed between the control specimens (47.7° of relative motion) and the overall instrumented specimens (P < 0.001), the 20.7° of relative rotation in the short C2 pedicle screw specimens was not statistically significantly higher than the 13.7° of relative rotation in the standard C2 pedicle screw specimens (P = 0.39). Similarly, although the average stiffness was statistically significantly lower in control group (0.026 Nm/degree) versus the overall instrumented specimens (P = 0.001), the standard C2 pedicle screws (2.54 Nm/degree) did not differ from the short C2 pedicle screws Conclusions: Both standard and short C2 pedicle screws allow for equally rigid fixation of C1 lateral mass-C2 AA fusions. Usage of a short C2 pedicle screw may be an acceptable method of stabilization in carefully selected patient populations.
    Surgical Neurology International 08/2014; 5(Suppl 7):S343-6. DOI:10.4103/2152-7806.139664 · 1.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Object Accurate insertion of C-2 cervical screws is imperative; however, the procedures for C-2 screw insertion are technically demanding and challenging, especially in cases of C-2 vertebral abnormality. The purpose of this study is to report the effectiveness of the tailor-made screw guide template (SGT) system for placement of C-2 screws, including in cases with abnormalities. Methods Twenty-three patients who underwent posterior spinal fusion surgery with C-2 cervical screw insertion using the SGT system were included. The preoperative bone image on CT was analyzed using multiplanar imaging software. The trajectory and depth of the screws were designed based on these images, and transparent templates with screw guiding cylinders were created for each lamina. During the operation, after templates were engaged directly to the laminae, drilling, tapping, and screwing were performed through the templates. The authors placed 26 pedicle screws, 12 pars screws, 6 laminar screws, and 4 C1-2 transarticular screws using the SGT system. To assess the accuracy of the screw track under this system, the deviation of the screw axis from the preplanned trajectory was evaluated on postoperative CT and was classified as follows: Class 1 (accurate), a screw axis deviation less than 2 mm from the planned trajectory; Class 2 (inaccurate), 2 mm or more but less than 4 mm; and Class 3 (deviated), 4 mm or more. In addition, to assess the safety of the screw insertion, malpositioning of the screws was also evaluated using the following grading system: Grade 0 (containing), a screw is completely within the wall of the bone structure; Grade 1 (exposure), a screw perforates the wall of the bone structure but more than 50% of the screw diameter remains within the bone; Grade 2 (perforation), a screw perforates the bone structures and more than 50% of the screw diameter is outside the pedicle; and Grade 3 (penetration), a screw perforates completely outside the bone structure. Results In total, 47 (97.9%) of 48 screws were classified into Class 1 and Grade 0, whereas 1 laminar screw was classified as Class 3 and Grade 2. Mean screw deviations were 0.36 mm in the axial plane (range 0.0-3.8 mm) and 0.30 mm in the sagittal plane (range 0.0-0.8 mm). Conclusions This study demonstrates that the SGT system provided extremely accurate C-2 cervical screw insertion without configuration of reference points, high-dose radiation from intraoperative 3D navigation, or any registration or probing error evoked by changes in spinal alignment during surgery. A multistep screw placement technique and reliable screw guide cylinders were the key to accurate screw placement using the SGT system.
    Journal of neurosurgery. Spine 05/2014; DOI:10.3171/2014.3.SPINE13730 · 2.36 Impact Factor