C7 extension crosswise osteotomy: a novel osteotomy for correction of chin-on-chest deformity in a patient with ankylosing spondylitis

J Neurosurg Spine 34:424–429, 2021

Extension crosswise osteotomy at C7 (C7 ECO) was developed for the correction of forward gaze in patients with chinon- chest deformity due to ankylosing spondylitis.

A modification of cervicothoracic extension osteoclasis (C/T EO), C7 ECO replaces osteoclasis of the anterior column with a crosswise cut of the C7 vertebral body to eliminate the risks of unintended dislocation of the cervical spine. C7 ECO also eliminates the risks of C7 and T1 pedicle subtraction osteotomies (C/T PSOs), in which a posteriorly based wedge excision may lead to stretching injuries of the lower cervical roots and/or failure to achieve the exact angle of excision required for an optimal correction.

Furthermore, opening the osteotomy anteriorly, as in the authors’ method, instead of closing it posteriorly, as in PSO, eliminates the risks related to shortening of the posterior column, such as buckling of the dura, kinking of the spinal cord, and stretching of the lower cervical nerve roots.

Here, the authors report the use of C7 ECO for the surgical treatment of a 69-year-old man with severe compromise of his forward gaze due to chin-on-chest deformity in the course of ankylosing spondylitis. After uneventful correction surgery, the patient regained the ability to see objects, namely faces of people, at the level of his head while standing and to perform work tasks at a desk.