Author(s): Bejjani GK, Sekhar LN, Riedel CJ
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Modern cranial base approaches to the clivus and foramen magnum may threaten the stability of the cranio-cervical junction. This necessitates stabilization and fusion in some cases. We studied occipitocervical fusion after extreme lateral transcondylar approaches. METHODS: Twenty-seven patients underwent an extreme lateral transcondylar approach over a 2-year period. Two patients were excluded because of prior occipitocervical fusion. The pathological diagnosis was meningioma in ten patients, chordoma in six patients, neurofibroma in two, and 10 patients had other tumoral and nontumoral pathologies. RESULTS: Eight patients required occipitocervical fusion and stabilization. Five of six patients with chordomas required fusion, whereas no patient with a meningioma underwent fusion. All the patients who were fused had more than 70\% resection of their occipital condyle. No patient with resection of less than 70\% of the occipital condyle required fusion. Significant interference of the surgical construct with follow-up imaging was seen only in the patient in whom a stainless steel Steinman pin was used. CONCLUSION: One third of patients will require fusion after extreme lateral transcondylar approaches. Most patients with less than 70\% resection of the condyle remain stable without need for surgical intervention, whereas complete resection necessitates fusion in most cases.
This article was published in Surg Neurol
and referenced in Journal of Spine