Mootaz Shousha, Mohamed Alhashash, Hassan Allouch, Heinrich Boehm

March 2019, pp 1 - 7 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-019-05946-x

First Online: 16 March 2019


This single-centre retrospective study compared anterior odontoid screw fixation and posterior atlantoaxial fusion in the surgical treatment of type II B odontoid fractures according to Grauer in elderly patients.


Between 1994 and 2014, 133 consecutive patients above 60 years presenting with type II B odontoid fracture were treated surgically in our department. They were divided retrospectively into two groups. Group A included 47 patients in whom anterior odontoid screw fixation was performed. Group B with 86 patients underwent posterior atlantoaxial fusion. The clinical and radiological data were analysed. Any reoperation during the follow-up was recorded and evaluated.


The mean age in group A (74.19 years) was significantly less than in group B (78.16 years). The mean operative time in group A (64.5 min) was significantly shorter than in group B (116 min). Again, the mean amount of blood loss in group A (79 ml) was significantly less than in group B (379 ml). The mean postoperative hospital stay was significantly shorter in group A (17.4 days) than in group B (30 days). The mean follow-up was 29.3 months in group A and 32 months in group B. The rate of pseudoarthrosis was significantly higher in group A (25.5%) than in group B (3.5%). Furthermore, the need for revision surgery was significantly increased in group A (23.4%) than in group B (10.47%).


Odontoid screw fixation is a less invasive surgery for type II B odontoid fractures in elderly patients. However, posterior atlantoaxial fusion provides a superior surgical outcome regarding fracture healing and the need for surgical revisions.

Graphical abstract

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

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