One-stage surgical treatment of cervical spine fracture-dislocation in patients with ankylosing spondylitis via the combined anterior–posterior approach

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The aim of the article is to investigate the efficacy and safety of 1-stage surgical therapy via combined anterior–posterior approach on cervical spine fracture in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS).

We retrospectively analyzed profiles of 12 AS patients with severe fracture-dislocation of cervical spine received 1-stage combined anterior–posterior surgery in our hospital from October, 2013, to October, 2015, including clinical characteristics, follow-up data, and imaging records. We compared the parameters before and after surgery on the basis of neurological function, bone fusion, Cobb angles of operation segment, Barthel index (BI) score, and incidence rate of complications.

A total of 12 patients received 1-stage surgery via combined anterior–posterior approach within 3 days after injury. No severe complications and death occurred. All patients received the successfully anatomical reduction of fracture-dislocation, in which 9 achieved function restoration. The latest follow-up showed the neurological function status of patients was improved. The Cobb angles of operation segments were recovered; the rate of bone fusion was 66.7% at 3 months and 100% at 6 months post-operation. The BI score was improved, 4 cases of moderate dependence and 8 of slight dependence at the latest follow-up compared to 10 of severe dependence and 2 of moderate dependence preoperation. In no cases did severe complications from implanted instrumentation occur.

It was high efficacy and safety that the surgical therapy was performed on cervical fracture-dislocation in AS patients by the 1-stage combined anterior–posterior approach. The key of the surgery is the robust stabilization and full decompression of fracture spine at early stage. In addition, if spinal anatomical reduction of fracture segments is difficult to be achieved, the functional restoration should be adopted during the surgery.

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