Sheng Lu, Yong Q. Xu, Yuan Z. Zhang, Le Xie, Hai Guo, Dong P. Li


September 2009, Volume 18, Issue 9, pp 1379 - 1385 Ideas and Technical Innovations Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-009-1051-4

First Online: 11 June 2009

The present method of C2 laminar screw placement relies on anatomical landmarks for screw placement. Placement of C2 laminar screws using drill template has not been described in the literature. The authors reported on their experience with placement of C2 laminar screws using a novel computer-assisted drill guide template in nine patients undergoing posterior occipito-cervical fusion. CT scan of C2 vertebrae was performed. 3D model of C2 vertebrae was reconstructed by software MIMICS 10.01. The 3D vertebral model was then exported in STL format, and opened in a workstation running software UG imageware12.0 for determining the optimal laminar screw size and orientation. A virtual navigational template was established according to the laminar anatomic trait. The physical vertebrae and navigational template were manufactured using rapid prototyping. The navigational template was sterilized and used intraoperative to assist the placement of laminar screw. Overall, 19 C2 laminar screws were placed and the accuracy of screw placement was confirmed with postoperative X-ray and CT scanning. There were not complications of related screws insertion. Average follow-up was 9 months (range 4–13 months), 77.8% of the patients exhibited improvement in their myelopathic symptoms; in 22.2% the symptoms were unchanged. Postoperative computed tomographic (CT) scanning was available for allowing the evaluation of placement of thirteen C2 laminar screws, all of which were in good position with no spinal canal violation. This study shows a patient-specific template technique that is easy to use, can simplify the surgical act and generates highly accurate C2 laminar screw placement. Advantages of this technology over traditional techniques include planning of the screw trajectory is done completely in the presurgical period as well as the ability to size the screw to the patient’s anatomy.


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