Feasibility of atlantoaxial pedicle screws’ placement in children 6–8 years of age: a cadaveric and tomographic study

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Abstract

The aims of this study were to evaluate the linear and angular dimensions of children’s atlantoaxial pedicle using cadavers combined with axial computed tomography (CT) and to examine the feasibility of placing atlantoaxial pedicle screws (3.5 mm diameter) on the vertebrae of children 6–8 years of age. Fourteen cadaveric specimens, ranging in age from 6 to 8 years, were dissected to obtain their atlantoaxial vertebrae. We manually measured 12 linear anatomic parameters related to the atlantoaxial pedicle, its lateral mass, and the posterior arch under the vertebral artery groove. CT axial scanning of the atlantoaxial region was performed on 32 healthy children ranging in age from 6 to 8 years. The length of the atlantoaxial pedicles and the angle between the pedicle axis and the midline of the vertebral body were measured on the atlantoaxial transverse CT imaging. It is feasible to place a 3.5 mm screw in the atlantoaxial pedicle of children ranging in age from 6 to 8 years when the appropriate entry point and trajectory of the screw are chosen.

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