S. Rajasekaran, Siddharth N. Aiyer, Ajoy Prasad Shetty, Rishi Kanna, Anupama Maheswaran

February 2019, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 270 - 278 Grand Rounds Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-016-4518-0

First Online: 23 March 2016


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Aneurysmal bone cysts (ABC) form 1 % of primary bone tumors. Reported incidence rates are no more than 1.4 to 1,00,000. ABC of spine frequently involves posterior elements and commonly affects the lumbar spine (45 %). We present a case of C2 ABC for the challenges it poses due to the rarity of the lesion, tedious to access location, dilemmas relating to the suitable approach for tumor resection and technically demanding stabilization and reconstruction strategy post resection.


Clinical data analysis was performed to discuss a method of novel anterior column reconstruction following resection of a C2 aneurysmal bone cyst in a 8 year old child with anterior and posterior elements being involved.


An 8-year-old girl with an aneurysmal bone cyst of the C2 vertebra underwent staged surgery following pre-operative embolisation. First a posterior approach tumor excision with posterior instrumented fusion was performed. Following which, using a modified anterior retropharyngeal approach anterior tumor excision and fibular graft reconstruction between the C1 lateral mass and C2 body was performed. Complete tumor clearance and stable reconstruction was successfully achieved in our patient. Patient showed excellent clinical outcome with radiological fusion.


Preoperative embolisation in the treatment of ABC has supplemental advantage by reducing blood loss. Modified anterior retropharyngeal approach allows satisfactory clearance for C1–2 lesion and fibular strut graft between the C1 lateral mass and C2 body can provide a stable graft placement with good chance of fusion. Instability and spinal deformity, whether preexisting or post-excision, should be corrected with reconstruction and stabilization to offer best chance of cure in such cases.

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