C1-C2 Pedicle Screw Fixation for Pediatric Atlantoaxial Dislocation: Initial Results and Long-term Follow-up

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Abstract

Background:

There are few studies reporting the use of atlantoaxial pedicle screws and the long-term effects of C1-C2 posterior fusion in children. Our study is to investigate the initial results of C1-C2 pedicle screw fixation for pediatric atlantoaxial dislocation (AAD) and assessed spontaneous change of postoperative radiography after a long-term follow-up period.

Methods:

Posterior pedicle screw fixations were performed in 21 pediatric patients with AAD. All the patients underwent implant removal 1 year after their initial surgery and had regular follow-up with an average duration of 76.4 months (range, 52 to 117 mo). Clinical and radiographic data were then collected and compared.

Results:

Frankel Grade was significantly improved at 3 months follow-up compared with pretreatment values. All patients had good bony fusion at a mean of 4.2±0.9 months (range, 3 to 6 mo) after treatment. None of the patients experienced worsening neurological symptoms or injury to the vertebral artery. However, 2 cases experienced minor complications. Following removal of the implants, no spinal deformities or subaxial instabilities were found. The mean angle of sagittal curvature increased from 12.1±2.4 degrees (range, 0 to 22 degrees) immediately postoperatively to 19.1±2.7 degrees (range, 6 to 31 degrees) at the final follow-up (P>0.05).

Conclusions:

The results demonstrated that C1-C2 pedicle screw fixation could achieve satisfactory initial results for the management of the pediatric AAD. Moreover, removal of the metal implant after bony fusion did not increase the risk of spinal deformity or subaxial instability at long-term follow-up.

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