Chronic C1-C2 Rotatory Subluxation Reduced by C1 Lateral Mass Screws and C2 Translaminar Screws: A Case Report

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C1-C2 rotatory subluxation can result from a variety or etiologies. Pediatric patients are particularly susceptible to C1-C2 rotatory subluxation. If left untreated the condition is termed an atlantoaxial rotatory fixation (AARF) and chronic neck pain and deformity can result. Patients failing conservative treatment or those with recurrent or chronic rotatory subluxation may require halo treatment or surgical intervention. This illustrative case report is about a patient with chronic C1-C2 AARF who was treated with C1 lateral mass screws and C2 translaminar screws, a treatment that has not been addressed by this technique in a pediatric population.


This is a retrospective case review.


After an unsuccessful attempt at reduction, an 11-year-old girl underwent surgery to treat her C1-C2 AARF. Through an all posterior approach, screws were placed bilaterally into the C1 lateral masses followed by the placement of C2 translaminar screws bilaterally. A small amount of distraction was applied through the screw construct to open up the C1-C2 articulation and the AARF was open reduced and fused. A detailed postoperative computed tomographic scan focused on the occiput C1-C2 joint confirmed the anatomical reduction of the joint complex.


The patient had cosmetically pleasing relief of her torticollis and was doing well at 60 months after surgery.

Level of Evidence:

Level IV.

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