Author(s): Oda I, Abumi K, Sell LC, Haggerty CJ, Cunningham BW,
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Abstract STUDY DESIGN: The stabilizing effects of five different occipitocervical fixations were compared. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the construct stability provided by five different occipito-atlanto-axial fixation techniques. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Few studies have addressed occipitocervical reconstruction stability and no studies to data have investigated anterior-posterior translational stiffness. METHODS: A total of 21 human cadaveric spines were used. After testing intact spines (CO-C2), a type II dens fracture was created and five different reconstructions were performed: 1) occipital and sublaminar wiring/rectangular rod, 2) occipital screws and C2 lamina claw hooks/rod, 3) occipital screws, foramen magnum screws, and C1-C2 transarticular screws/rod, 4) occipital screws and C1-C2 transarticular screws/Y-plate, and 5) occipital screws and C2 pedicle screws/rod. Biomechanical testing parameters included axial rotation, flexion/extension, lateral bending, and anterior-posterior translation. RESULTS: Pedicle screw fixation demonstrated the highest stiffness among the five reconstructions (P < 0.05). The two types of transarticular screw methods provided greater stability than hook or wiring reconstructions (P < 0.05). The C2 claw hook technique resulted in greater stability than sublaminar wiring fixation in anterior-posterior translation (P < 0.05). However, the wiring procedure did not significantly increase the stiffness levels beyond the intact condition under anterior-posterior translation and lateral bending (P > 0.05). DISCUSSION: C2 transpedicular and C1-C2 transarticular screws significantly increased the stabilizing effect compared to sublaminar wiring and lamina hooks. The improved stability afforded by C2 pedicular and C1-C2 transarticular screws offer many potential advantages including a high rate of bony union, early ambulation, and easy nursing care. CONCLUSION: Occipitocervical reconstruction techniques using C1-C2 transarticular screws or C2 pedicle screws offer biomechanical advantages compared to sublaminar wiring or lamina hooks. Pedicle screw fixation exhibited the highest construct stiffness among the five reconstructions.
This article was published in Spine (Phila Pa 1976)
and referenced in Journal of Spine