alexa Conservative treatment of neural arch fractures of the axis: computed tomography scan and X-ray study on consolidation time.


Orthopedic & Muscular System: Current Research

Author(s): Ramieri A, Domenicucci M, Landi A, Rastelli E, Raco A

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Abstract BACKGROUND: Computed tomography (CT) scan and X-ray study on consolidation time of C2 neural arch fractures treated conservatively were examined. METHODS: A prospective study was undertaken: 28 conservatively treated fractures of the neural arch of the axis (11 hanged-man type I, 5 type II, and 12 miscellaneous fractures) were monitored during the period of orthosis by means of CT scan and plain X-rays performed on admission, and then at intervals between 2 and 120 days afterward. In patients treated with a halo vest (20 cases), a CT scan of the skull was performed to make sure that the pins were correctly positioned and to evaluate the osteolytic processes at the pin-bone interface. RESULTS: Two patients died as a result of other severe brain or thoracoabdominal injuries, and the remaining 26 fractures healed in an average time of 109 days (range 90-120). The process of bone consolidation was documented in detail by CT, which showed how the newly formed osteofibrous tissue (iso-hypodense) progressively filled the interfragmentary space. In 2 cases of cranial pin loosening, CT demonstrated an osteolytic rim at the interface, which prompted early removal of the halo system. At clinical follow-up (mean 32 months; range 24-84), functional status was evaluated: all of the patients were neurologically intact with the exception of one, who presented with persistent paresthesias. The most frequent disturbance was cervical pain (12 cases, 46\%). CONCLUSIONS: CT with two- and three-dimensional reconstructed images has been shown to be the most reliable method for clarifying the evolution of bone consolidation and to show any osteolytic processes at the pin-bone interface during halo vest immobilization. Follow-up results of our series suggest that surgical treatment would not have improved the quality of life in these patients. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. This article was published in World Neurosurg and referenced in Orthopedic & Muscular System: Current Research

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