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OBJECTIVE This study aimed to compare the clinical results of using posterior fixation and fusion with or without anterior decompression to treat os odontoideum with atlantoaxial dislocation. METHODS Twenty-five consecutive patients with os odontoideum were included in this study. Sixteen patients with reducible atlantoaxial dislocation were treated by single-level posterior fusion and stabilization; the other 9 were treated with posterior fusion and stabilization combined with transoral decompression. Pre- and postoperative CT scans and MR images were obtained. RESULTS Twenty-four patients were followed for 24-54 months (average 36.5 months). Postoperative CT scans indicated that all pedicle screws were placed satisfactorily except in 2 cases, in which the screws slightly penetrated the transverse foramen. Postoperative MR images demonstrated that sufficient decompression of the spinal cord was obtained in all patients. Complications included 1 case each of pedicle screw breakage, pharynx ulcer, and persistent pharynx discomfort. Statistical analysis of all cases revealed that mean Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores improved from a preoperative score of 10.2 (range 7-13) to a postoperative score of 15.6 (range 11-18). CONCLUSIONS Patients who have os odontoideum with a reducible atlantoaxial dislocation can be effectively treated with single-level posterior fusion and stabilization. Combined transoral decompression and posterior fusion and stabilization is recommended for those with irreducible atlantoaxial dislocation.


Xinghuo Wu, Kirkham B Wood, Yong Gao, Shuai Li, Jing Wang, Ting Ge, Boming Zhao, Zengwu Shao, Shuhua Yang, Cao Yang. Surgical strategies for the treatment of os odontoideum with atlantoaxial dislocation. Journal of neurosurgery. Spine. 2017 Nov 17:1-9

PMID: 29148933

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