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One stage anterior-posterior approach for traumatic atlantoaxial instability combined with subaxial cervical spinal cord injury

OBJECTIVES: To explore the clinical features of traumatic atlantoaxial instability combined with subaxial cervical spinal cord injury (CSCI), and to analyze the feasibility, indication and therapeutic effects of anterior-posterior approach in such cases. METHODS: From March 2004 to September 2009, 16 cases with this trauma were admitted and surgically treated in our department. Before surgery, skull traction was performed. Posterior atlantoaxial pedicle screw internal fixation and bone graft fusion were conducted to manage traumatic atlantoaxial instability. As for subaxial CSCI, anterior cervical corpectomy or discectomy decompression, bone grafting and internal fixation with steel plates were applied. RESULTS: All operations were successful. The average operation time was 3 hours and operative blood loss 400 ml. Satisfactory reduction of both the upper and lower cervical spine and complete decompression were achieved. All patients were followed up for 12 to 36 months. Their clinical symptoms were improved by various levels. The Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores ranged from 10 to 16 one year postoperatively, 13.95+/-2.06 on average(improvement rate equal to 70.10%). X-rays, spiral CT and MRI confirmed normal cervical alignments, complete decompression and fine implants’position. There was no breakage or loosening of screws, nor exodus of titanium mesh or implanted bone blocks. The grafted bone achieved fusion 3-6 months postoperatively and no atlantoaxial instability was observed. CONCLUSIONS: Traumatic atlantoaxial instability may combine with subaxial CSCI, misdiagnosis of which should be especially alerted and avoided. For severe cases, one stage anterior-posterior approach to decompress the upper and lower cervical spine, together with reposition, bone grafting and fusion, as well as internal fixation can immediately restore the normal alignments and stability of the cervical spine and effectively improve the spinal nervous function, thus being an ideal approach

Keywords : Aged,Atlanto-Axial Joint,blood,China,Decompression,diagnosis,Female,Humans,injuries,Joint Instability,Male,methods,Middle Aged,Patients,Skull,Spinal Cord,Spinal Cord Injuries,Spine,Steel,surgery,Time,Titanium,Traction,Universities,, Stage,Anteriorposterior,Approach,Traumatic, botox masseter

Date of Publication : 2011 Jun 1

Authors : Wang CS;Liu MJ;Lin JH;Xu WH;Luo HB;

Organisation : Department of Spinal Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350005, China

Journal of Publication : Chin J Traumatol

Pubmed Link : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21635798

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