Anterior cervical distraction and screw elevating–pulling reduction for traumatic cervical spine fractures and dislocations: A retrospective analysis of 86 cases

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Abstract

Treatment of cervical fracture and dislocation by improving the anterior cervical technique.

Anterior cervical approach has been extensively used in treating cervical spine fractures and dislocations. However, when this approach is used in the treatment of locked facet joints, an unsatisfactory intraoperative reduction and prying reduction increases the risk of secondary spinal cord injury. Thus, herein, the cervical anterior approach was improved. With distractor and screw elevation therapy during surgery, the restoration rate is increased, and secondary injury to the spinal cord is avoided.

To discuss the feasibility of the surgical method of treating traumatic cervical spine fractures and dislocations and the clinical application.

This retrospective study included the duration of patients’ hospitalization from January 2005 to June 2015. The potential risks of surgery (including death and other surgical complications) were explained clearly, and written consents were obtained from all patients before surgery.

The study was conducted on 86 patients (54 males and 32 females, average age of 40.1 ± 5.6 years) with traumatic cervical spine fractures and dislocations, who underwent one-stage anterior approach treatment. The effective methods were evaluated by postoperative follow-up.

The healing of the surgical incision was monitored in 86 patients. The follow-up duration was 18 to 36 (average 26.4 ± 7.1) months. The patients achieved bones grafted fusion and restored spine stability in 3 to 9 (average 6) months after the surgery. Statistically, significant improvement was observed by Frankel score, visual analog scale score, Japanese Orthopedic Association score, and correction rate of the cervical spine dislocation pre- and postoperative (P < .01).

The modified anterior cervical approach is simple with a low risk but a good effect in reduction. In addition, it can reduce the risk of iatrogenic secondary spinal cord injury and maintain optimal cervical spine stability as observed during follow-ups. Therefore, it is suitable for clinical promotion and application.

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