Endoscopically-Assisted Percutaneous Unilateral Atlantoaxial Screw-Rod Nonfusion Fixation Treatment for Type II Odontoid Fractures in Geriatric Patients: Case Series and Technical Note

Lei Shi, Rui Deng, Qing-Yan Long, Lei Chu, Ke-Xiao Yu, Zhou Xu, Zhong-Liang Deng
Pain Physician 2020, 23 (2): E241-E250

BACKGROUND: Considerable controversy exists regarding the optimal treatment for type II odontoid fractures in geriatric patients. Surgical intervention can help patients return to their prior level of function as rapidly as possible while avoiding the morbidity and mortality associated with prolonged and bedbound hospitalization. However, the optimal treatment is still a difficult choice for patients with increased risk from anesthesia.

OBJECTIVES: The objective of our study was to describe an innovative method of endoscopically-assisted percutaneous unilateral C1 lateral mass screw and C2 pedicle screw-rod nonfusion fixation for type II odontoid fractures in geriatric patients.

STUDY DESIGN: A case series design and technical notes.

SETTING: This study took place at Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University.

METHODS: Seven geriatric patients (> 65 years) with type II odontoid fractures and an American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score of 2 or higher received endoscopically-assisted percutaneous unilateral atlantoaxial screw-rod nonfusion fixation. After surgery, all patients were required to wear a rigid collar full-time for 12 weeks. Intraoperative data, the bone union time, American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) scale scores, Neck Disability Index (NDI) scores, and postoperative complications were collected for assessment.RESULTS The surgical goal was successfully achieved in all patients, 3 of whom had high ASA scores (>= 3) and underwent surgery under local anesthesia. The operative time ranged from 112 to 169 minutes (mean, 131.1 minutes). No neurovascular complications were observed intraoperatively or postoperatively. All patients rapidly returned to their prior level of function and were followed up for 12 to 24 months (average: 16.9 months). Bone union was achieved in all patients.

LIMITATIONS: This study is limited by being a retrospective study.

CONCLUSIONS: Endoscopically-assisted percutaneous unilateral atlantoaxial screw-rod nonfusion fixation is a feasible technique for type II odontoid fractures in geriatric patients. This method offers a compromise between non-operative and operative treatment and allows geriatric patients to rapidly return to their prior level of function.

KEY WORDS: Endoscopically-assisted surgery; geriatric patient; percutaneous atlantoaxial fixation; type II odontoid fracture; unilateral nonfusion fixation.

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