Neurosurgery 77:S6–S14, 2015
Odontoid fractures are the most common cervical spine fracture in the geriatric population; however, the treatment of type II odontoid fractures in this age group is controversial.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the short-term (<3 months) mortality, long-term (≥12 months) mortality, and complication rates of patients >60 years of age with a type II odontoid fracture managed either operatively or nonoperatively.
METHODS: We performed a systematic review of literature published between January 1, 2000, and February 1, 2015, related to the treatment of type II odontoid fractures in patients .60 years of age. An analysis of short-term mortality, long-term mortality, and the occurrence of complications was performed.
RESULTS: A total of 452 articles were identified, of which 21 articles with 1233 patients met the inclusion criteria. Short-term mortality (odds ratio, 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.30-0.63) and long-term mortality (odds ratio, 0.47; 95% confidence interval, 0.34-0.64) were lower in patients who underwent surgical treatment than in those who had nonsurgical treatment, and there were no significant differences in the rate of complications (odds ratio, 1.01; 95% confidence interval, 0.63-1.63). Surgical approach (posterior vs anterior) showed no significant difference in mortality or complication rate. Similarly, no difference in mortality or complication rate was identified with hard collar or a halo orthosis immobilization.
CONCLUSION: The current literature suggests that well-selected patients >60 years of age undergoing surgical treatment for a type II odontoid fracture have a decreased risk of short-term and long-term mortality without an increase in the risk of complications.
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