Article

Fractures and dislocations of the cervicothoracic junction.

Department of Orthopaedics, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust, Middlesex, UK.
Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques (Impact Factor: 1.77). 01/2006; 18(6):499-505. DOI: 10.1097/01.bsd.0000156831.76055.f0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Presented is a retrospective review of case notes and all available imaging studies in seven patients with acute fractures-dislocations of the cervicothoracic junction. Imaging studies included radiographs (five cases), computed tomography (six cases), and magnetic resonance imaging (seven cases). The study group consisted of five men and two women with mean age at presentation of 43.6 years (range 25-69 years). Four patients had been in road traffic accidents, whereas three patients had had falls. Three patients sustained complete neurologic deficits with no recovery, whereas the remaining four had no abnormal neurology or mild deficit at presentation and were normal at final follow-up. The injury was missed initially in three cases. The commonest injury pattern was traumatic spondylolisthesis of C7 on T1 with multilevel neural arch fractures, resulting in increased anteroposterior canal dimensions (four cases). Bilateral pars fractures of C7 and pure facet dislocation were seen in one case each. Neurologic deficit was related to the degree of anterior displacement of C7 on T1. Fracture-dislocation at the cervicothoracic junction is a rare injury with a variation of injury patterns and neurologic outcome.

1 Bookmark
 · 
211 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pedicle screw fixation is the most preferred method of stabilizing unstable spinal fractures. Pedicle screw placement may be difficult in presence of fractured posterior elements, deformed spine, gross instability and spinal pathology. Challenging spine-fracture fixation is defined as the presence of one or more of the following: 1) obscured topographical landmarks as in ankylosing spondylitis, 2) fractures in occipitocervical or cervicothoracic regions and 3) preexisting altered spinal alignment. We report a series of pedicle screw insertion with guidance of navigation in difficult fixation problems.. Fourteen patients [hangman's fracture (n=3), odontoid fracture (n=4), C1C2 fracture (n=1) and spinal fracture with coexistent ankylosing spondylitis (n=6)] underwent posterior stabilization. Intraoperatively after surgical exposure, images were acquired by Iso-C 3D C-arm and transferred to navigation system. Instrumentation was performed with navigational assistance. Postoperatively, placements of pedicle screws were evaluated with radiographs and CT scan. Sixty-seven pedicle screws (cervical, n=33; thoracic, n=6; lumbar, n=26; sacral n=2) and 15 lateral mass screws were inserted with navigation guidance. The average time of image data acquisition by Iso-C 3D C-arm and its transfer to workstation was 4 minutes (range, 2-6 minutes). Postoperative CT scan revealed ideal placement of screws in 63 pedicles (94%), grade 1 cortical breaches (<2 mm) in 3 pedicles (4.5%) and grade 2 cortical breach (2-4 mm) in one pedicle (1.5%). There were no neurovascular complications. Deep infection was encountered in one case, which settled with debridement. Intraoperative Iso-C 3D C-arm based navigation is a useful adjunct while stabilizing challenging spinal trauma, rendering feasibility, accuracy and safety of pedicle screw placement even in difficult situations.
    Indian Journal of Orthopaedics 10/2007; 41(4):312-7. · 0.74 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to conduct the first in vitro biomechanical comparison of immediate and postcyclical rigidities of C-7 lateral mass versus C-7 pedicle screws in posterior C4-7 constructs. Ten human cadaveric spines were treated with C4-6 lateral mass screw and C-7 lateral mass (5 specimens) versus pedicle (5 specimens) screw fixation. Spines were potted in polymethylmethacrylate bone cement and placed on a materials testing machine. Rotation about the axis of bending was measured using passive retroreflective markers and infrared motion capture cameras. The motion of C-4 relative to C-7 in flexion-extension and lateral bending was assessed uninstrumented, immediately after instrumentation, and following 40,000 cycles of 4 Nm of flexion-extension and lateral bending moments at 1 Hz. The effect of instrumentation and cyclical loading on rotational motion across C4-7 was analyzed for significance. Preinstrumented spines for the 2 cohorts were comparable in bone mineral density and range of motion in both flexion-extension (p = 0.33) and lateral bending (p = 0.16). Lateral mass and pedicle screw constructs significantly reduced motion during flexion-extension (11.3°-0.26° for lateral mass screws, p = 0.002; 10.51°-0.30° for pedicle screws, p = 0.008) and lateral bending (7.38°-0.27° for lateral mass screws, p = 0.003; 11.65°-0.49° for pedicle screws, p = 0.03). After cyclical loading in both cohorts, rotational motion over C4-7 was increased during flexion-extension (0.26°-0.68° for lateral mass screws; 0.30°-1.31° for pedicle screws) and lateral bending (0.27°-0.39° and 0.49°-0.80°, respectively), although the increase was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). There was no statistical difference in postcyclical flexion-extension (p = 0.20) and lateral bending (0.10) between lateral mass and pedicle screws. Both C-7 lateral mass and C-7 pedicle screws allow equally rigid fixation of subaxial lateral mass constructs ending at C-7. Immediately and within a simulated 6-week postfixation period, C-7 lateral mass screws may be as effective as C-7 pedicle screws in biomechanically stabilizing long subaxial lateral mass constructs.
    Journal of neurosurgery. Spine 12/2010; 13(6):688-94. · 1.61 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background context Several authors have reported cervical dislocations and fracture-dislocations above, below or through the fused cervical segment after cervical fusion. No previous reports have described fracture/dislocations at the cervicothoracic junction (CTJ) after multilevel anterior cervical spine fusion. Purpose To report CTJ fracture/subluxation after multilevel anterior cervical spine fusion surgery, a technique for surgical management and strategies to prevent this avoidable complication. Study design A case report and review of the literature. Methods A 61-year-old women underwent anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF) from C3 to C7. The patient did well postoperatively until she suffered a CTJ fracture/subluxation 4 months later sustained during a fall. Results The patient underwent posterior and anterior fusion surgery C7–T2. Radiographs 2 years after her reconstruction surgery showed solid fusion from C3 to T2. Conclusions The CTJ area is susceptible to injury because it represents the transition between mobile and relatively immobile portions of the spine, especially when a long lever arm is created by a low cervical fusion. It is difficult to image with plain radiographs, and therefore, injury may be easily overlooked. If overlooked, severe neurological injury can result. Anterior and posterior fusion is often necessary to appropriately stabilize the CTJ after fracture/dislocation.
    European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology 22(7). · 0.18 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

View
10 Downloads
Available from