Christian Hagemann, Ralf Stücker, Ilka Schmitt, Alexandra Höller, Philip Kunkel

May 2020, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 970 - 976 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-020-06368-w

First Online: 16 March 2020

Posterior fusion of the craniocervical junction in the pediatric spine: Wright's translaminar C2 screw technique provides for more safety and effectiveness


Posterior fusion of the craniocervical junction (CCJ) has always been challenging in children with rare congenital diseases and malformations. At our institution, the introduction of the translaminar C2 screw technique led to a significant improvement in the quality of treatment.


Retrospective analysis of a pediatric cohort at a single institution who underwent CCJ posterior fusion between 2007 and 2018. Patients were divided into group 1 (other posterior fusion techniques, n = 12) and group 2 (translaminar axis screw placement, n = 19). Diagnosis, sex, age at surgery, surgical technique, immobilization, revisions, fusion, reduction, and complications were assessed.


Follow-up ranged from 12 to 145 months (mean 50.7). The initial fusion rate detected at 3 months by CT differed significantly (66, 7% in group 1 vs. 100% in group 2, p = 0.018). Full reduction of C1/C2 malalignments was achieved in 41, 6% of group 1 versus 84, 2% of group 2 (p = 0.007). Immobilization was applied in 83, 3% of group 1 versus 26, 3% of group 2 (p = 0.0032). Ten complications were treated conservatively, and 15 events required revision surgery (80% in group 1 vs. 20% in group 2). Eight complications were related to immobilization.


The implementation of the translaminar C2 technique resulted in significantly more safety and efficiency regarding pediatric posterior fusion CCJ surgery at our institution, with significantly higher rates of rigid fixation, full reduction, and fusion, and significantly lower rates of complications and immobilization.

Graphic abstract

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