Ivan Lvov, Andrey Grin, Aleksandr Talypov, Anton Kordonskiy, Vladimir Smirnov, Iliya Grigoriev, Ulugbek Khushnazarov, Vladimir Krylov

February 2019, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 400 - 420 Review Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-018-5830-7

First Online: 22 November 2018


This study aimed to evaluate the impact of several factors, including patients’ intraoperative position, intraoperative visualization technique, fixation method, and type of screws and their parameters, on the frequency of intraoperative screw-associated complications in posterior transarticular C1–C2 fixation.


A systematic review of the PubMed database between January 1986 and March 2018 was performed. The key inclusion criteria comprised detailed descriptions of the surgical technique and post-operative screw-associated complications.


The initial search resulted in 1041 abstracts, and a total of 54 abstracts were included in the present study. The overall number of operated patients was 2306. In this group, 4439 screws were inserted. The rate of screw-associated complications during the different time periods was estimated upon meta-analysis. Statistical analysis of the screw malposition rate, vertebral artery injury rate, screw breakage rate based on patients’ intraoperative position, intraoperative visualization technique, fixation method, and type of implants and their parameters was also performed.


The factors that help reduce the rate of screw-associated complications include the intraoperative application of biplanar fluoroscopy or neuronavigation system, the use of 4 mm or thicker lag screws, and screw insertion through contraincisions using cannulated ported instruments. On the other hand, the potential risk factors of screw-associated complications include inadequate intraoperative head fixation using skeletal traction, uniplanar fluoroscopy-guided screw insertion, screw insertion using the posterior midline approach, and the use of 3.5 mm or thinner full-threaded screws.

Graphical abstract

These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Read Full Article