Heiko Koller, Volker Kammermeier, Dietmar Ulbricht, Allan Assuncao, Stefan Karolus, Boris van den Berg, Ulrich Holz

August 2006, Volume 15, Issue 9, pp 1326 - 1338 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-006-0103-2

First Online: 08 April 2006

Posterior transarticular screw fixation C1-2 with the Magerl technique is a challenging procedure for stabilization of atlantoaxial instabilities. Although its high primary stability favoured it to sublaminar wire-based techniques, the close merging of the vertebral artery (VA) and its violation during screw passage inside the axis emphasizes its potential risk. Also, posterior approach to the upper cervical spine produces extensive, as well as traumatic soft-tissue stripping. In comparison, anterior transarticular screw fixation C1-2 is an atraumatic technique, but has been neglected in the literature, even though promising results are published and lectured to date. In 2004, anterior screw fixation C1-2 was introduced in our department for the treatment of atlantoaxial instabilities. As it showed convincing results, its general anatomic feasibility was worked up. The distance between mid-sagittal line of C2 and medial border of the VA groove resembles the most important anatomic landmark in anterior transarticular screw fixation C1-2. Therefore, CT based measurements on 42 healthy specimens without pathology of the cervical spine were performed. Our data are compiled in an extended collection of anatomic landmarks relevant for anterior transarticular screw fixation C1-2. Based on anatomic findings, the technique and its feasibility in daily clinical work is depicted and discussed on our preliminary results in seven patients.

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