CT scan based determination of optimal bone corridor for atlantoaxial ventral screw fixation in miniature breed dogs

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Objective:To describe the most reliable insertion angle, corridor length and width to place a ventral transarticular atlantoaxial screw in miniature breed dogs.Study Design:Retrospective CT imaging study.Sample Population:Cervical CT scans of toy breed dogs (n = 21).Methods:Dogs were divided into 2 groups—group 1: no atlantoaxial abnormalities; group 2: atlantoaxial instability. Insertion angle in medial to lateral and ventral to dorsal direction was measured in group 1. Corridor length and width were measured in groups 1 and 2. Corridor width was measured at 3 points of the corridor. Each variable was measured 3 times and the mean used for statistical analysis.Results:Mean ± SD optimal transarticular atlantoaxial insertion angle was determined to be 40 ± 1° in medial to lateral direction from the midline and 20 ± 1° in ventral to dorsal direction from the floor of the neural canal of C2. Mean corridor length was 7 mm (range, 4.5–8.0 mm). Significant correlation was found between corridor length, body weight, and age. Mean bone corridor width ranged from 3 to 5 mm. Statistically significant differences were found between individuals, gender and measured side.Conclusions:Optimal placement of a transarticular screw for atlantoaxial joint stabilization is very demanding because the screw path corridor is very narrow.

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