Insertional Torque in Cervical Vertebrae Lateral Mass Screw Fixation: Magerl Technique Versus Roy-Camille Technique

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Study Design:

This is a prospective multicenter comparison study.


To measure the insertional torque (IT) for cervical vertebra lateral mass screw (LMS) fixation using the Magerl and Roy-Camille methods, at the discretion of the surgeon.

Summary of Background Data:

Current fixation methods for patients with preoperative cervical spine instability use LMSs; however, few studies have closely examined intraoperative IT. Patients’ bone quality was not measured.


A total of 637 posterior cervical multiaxial screws were inserted for LMS (C3–C6) (Magerl technique, 423; Roy-Camille technique, 214) in 107 cases. Patients’ mean age was 66 years. Patients treated with the Magerl method were divided into 2 groups, with the men in the MM group and the women in the MF group. Similarly, patients treated with the Roy-Camille method were divided into 2 groups, with the men in the RM group and the women in the RF group. The contralateral cortex was penetrated, and the IT at cerclage was measured at the last time.


IT of the lateral mass screw was 53.8±22.4, 45.4±21, 45.5±16.9, and 34±16.4 cN.m in the MM group (258), MF group (165), RM group (163), and RF group (51), respectively. The MM group had a significantly higher IT than the other 3 groups, and the RM group had a significantly higher IT than the RF group. When the correlation between screw length and IT was evaluated, IT was significantly (P<0.05) higher with a longer screw by the Magerl method.


The IT was higher with the Magerl method with a longer screw. Screw length and IT were not correlated with the Roy-Camille method; furthermore, the Roy-Camille method went through bilateral cortical bone perpendicularly, so that IT was determined by the fixation power in the cortical part of the bone, which was not thought to be affected by screw length.

Level of Evidence:

Level III.

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