Hisashi Yoshimoto, Shigenobu Sato, Takahiko Hyakumachi, Yasushi Yanagibashi, Taiki Kanno, Takeshi Masuda

September 2009, Volume 18, Issue 9, pp 1326 - 1334 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-009-1109-3

First Online: 04 August 2009


Cervical pedicle screw is thought to be the most stable instrumentation for reconstructive surgery of the cervical spine. However, because of the unresolved and inherent risk of neurovascular injuries due to screw perforation, it remains not widespread nowadays despite the excellent biomechanical property. Fifty-two consecutive cases having undergone spinal reconstruction using cervical pedicle screw were investigated. There were 24 females and 28 males. The mean follow-up period was 53 months. Those patients were stratified into three groups according to the period of screw insertion. A total of 280 screws were inserted. Ninety-two screws in 19 cases, 100 screws in 18 cases and 88 screws in 15 cases were inserted in the earlier, the middle and the later periods, respectively. Clinical results including complications were recorded in all cases. Screw perforations were evaluated in both plain X-ray and CT. Screw perforations occurred in 11 (12.0%), 7 (7.0%) and 1 (1.1%) screws in each period. There were no complications, such as infection, neurological deterioration and neurovascular injury directly related to screw insertion. The learning curve showed a significant improvement especially in the later period. However, the perforation rates in both the earlier and middle periods must not be underestimated. Surgeons with less experience must insert cervical pedicle screws with the assistance of a senior surgeon to avoid lethal complications.

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