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01.09.2009 | Orthopaedic Surgery | Ausgabe 9/2009

Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery 9/2009

Bilateral atlas laminar hook combined with transarticular screw fixation for an unstable bursting atlantal fracture

Zeitschrift:
Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery > Ausgabe 9/2009
Autoren:
Xiang Guo, Bin Ni, Mingfei Wang, Jian Wang, Songkai Li, Fengjin Zhou
Wichtige Hinweise
Xiang Guo and Bin Ni contributed equally to the article.

Abstract

Introduction

The unstable atlas burst fracture (“Jefferson fracture”) is a fracture of the anterior and posterior atlantal arch with rupture of the transverse atlantal ligament and an incongruence of the atlanto-occipital and the atlanto-axial joint facets. The posterior atlantoaxial fusion is frequently used to reconstruct the stability of atlantoaxial joint. Conventional posterior atlantoaxial fixations are associated with high rates of pseudoarthrosis and chronic atlantoaxial instability. As a modified three-point fixation the bilateral C1-2 transarticular screws combined with C1 laminar hook and bone grafts can provide best biomechanical stability, but no standard protocol has been reported for the use of this fusion technique. A retrospective review of clinical series should be conducted to evaluate the clinical outcome of bilateral atlas laminar hook combined with transarticular screw fixation for unstable bursting atlantal fracture.

Materials and methods

From March 2002 to March 2006, there were total 12 cases of unstable atlantal bursting fractures, 10 males and 2 females, age ranging 18–54, with mean of 36 years old. All patients were operated on posterior atlantoaxial fusion using bilateral atlas laminar hook combined with transarticular screw fixation after atlantoaxial joint were reduced and followed up for 12–24 months. The medical records and radiographs of the 12 patients were reviewed. Each patient underwent a complete cervical radiograph series including lateral flexion-extension view and a computed topographic scan. The Frankel grades and ASIA scores were applied to assess the neurologic status.

Results

In all patients, a good bony fusion of the atlanto-axial segment was achieved. All patients showed significant improvement of the neurologic defect and no instability on their follow-up plain radiographs and computerized tomography in follow-up interval.

Conclusions

For the patients who suffer from the unstable bursting atlantal fracture, the nonoperative methods could carry some clinical complications including infection, nerve injury, etc. and is frequently failure, Posterior atlantoaxial fusion using bilateral atlas laminar hook combined with transarticular screw fixation is an effective treatment.

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