Treatment of type II odontoid fracture with a novel technique: Titanium cable-dragged reduction and cantilever-beam internal fixation

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Abstract

Surgical methods for type II odontoid fracture can be classified into 2 main groups: anterior or posterior approach. A more effective way to achieve bone fusion with the lowest possible surgical risk is needed. Therefore, the aim of our study was to describe and evaluate a novel technique, cable-dragged reduction/cantilever beam internal fixation for the treatment of type II odontoid fracture.

This was a retrospective study enrolled 34 patients underwent posterior cable-dragged reduction/cantilever-beam internal fixation surgery. Medical records, rates of reduction, the location of the instrumentation and fracture healing during follow-up were analyzed. Once fracture healing was obtained, instrumentation was removed. Neck pain (scored using a visual analog scale [VAS]), neck stiffness, patient satisfaction, and neck disability index (NDI) were recorded before and after removing the instrumentation during follow-up.

The mean duration of follow up was 22.8 ± 5.3 months. There was no iatrogenic damage to nerves or blood vessels. Radiographic evaluation showed complete reduction in the 20 patients with fracture displacement and satisfactory fracture healing in all 34 cases. Titanium cable breakage was observed in 4 patients after fracture healing. After removal of instrumentation, significant improvements were seen in neck-pain VAS score, neck stiffness, patient satisfaction, and NDI (all P < .01).

Posterior cable-dragged reduction/cantilever-beam internal fixation was an optimal salvage maneuver to conventional surgical methods such as anterior screw fixation and C1–C2 screw-rod system. The operative difficulty and incidence of nerve and vascular injury were reduced. Its major disadvantage is the exposure and screw-setting at C3, which is left intact in traditional surgery, and it is suitable only for patients with intact C1 posterior arches.

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