Anterior Reduction and Fusion of Cervical Facet Dislocations

Neurosurgery 84:388–395, 2019

Cervical facet dislocations are among the most common traumatic spinal injuries. Posterior, anterior, and combined surgical approaches have been described and are widely debated.

OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate efficacy in anterior-only surgical management for subaxial cervical facet dislocations.

METHODS: A consistent surgical algorithm for cervical facet dislocation was applied over a 19-yr period and analyzed retrospectively in adults with acute unilateral or bilateral facet dislocation of the subaxial cervical spine. The primary endpoint was maintenance of early cervical alignment. The need for additional posterior instrumented fusion was determined.

RESULTS: A database search identified 96 patients (mean age = 37.9, range = 14-74 yr, 68 (70%) male. The most common affected levels were C4-C5 (30), C5-C6 (29), and C6-C7 (30). Bilateral dislocation occurred in 51 patients (53%). Seventy-eight (81%) patients had neurological deficits, 31 (32%) being complete (Abbreviated Injury Score A) spinal cord injuries. Preoperative closed reductionwas attempted in 60 (63%) patients, with 33 (55%) achieving satisfactory alignment. After anterior cervical discectomy, reduction, allograft placement, and instrumentation, a total of 92 (96%) patients had achieved satisfactory realignment. Median time to surgery was 13.27 h. Eight (8%) patients required posterior fixation due to intraoperative determination of incomplete realignment (4; 4%) and development of early progressive deformity (4; 4%). Mean follow-up was 4.5 mo (range 0.5-24 mo) with 33 (34%) patients lost to follow-up.

CONCLUSION: Anterior approaches are viable for reduction and stabilization of cervical facet dislocations. Further prospective studies are required to evaluate clinical and longterm success.

Surgery for adult spondylolisthesis: a systematic review of the evidence


Eur Spine J (2016) 25:2359–2367

Surgery for isthmic and degenerative spondylolisthesis (SL) in adults is carried out very frequently in everyday practice. However, it is still unclear whether the results of surgery are better than those of conservative treatment and whether decompression alone or instrumented fusion with decompression should be recommended. In addition, the role of reduction is unclear.

Four clinically relevant key questions were addressed in this study: (1) Is surgery more successful than conservative treatment in relation to pain and function in adult patients with isthmic SL? (2) Is surgery more successful than conservative treatment in relation to pain and function in adult patients with degenerative SL? (3) Is instrumented fusion with decompression more successful in relation to pain and function than decompression alone in adult patients with degenerative SL and spinal canal stenosis? (4) Is instrumented fusion with reduction more successful in relation to pain and function than instrumented fusion without reduction in adult patients with isthmic or degenerative SL?

A systematic PubMed search was carried out to identify randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials on these topics. Papers were analyzed systematically in a search for the best evidence.A total of 18 studies was identified and analyzed: two for question 1, eight for question 2, four for question 3, and four for question 4.

Surgery appears to be better than conservative treatment in adults with isthmic SL (poor evidence) and also in adults with degenerative SL (good evidence). Instrumented fusion with decompression appears to be more successful than decompression alone in adults with degenerative SL and spinal stenosis (poor evidence). Reduction and instrumented fusion does not appear to be more successful than instrumented fusion without reduction in adults with isthmic or degenerative SL (moderate evidence).

Posterior Reduction of Fixed Atlantoaxial Dislocation and Basilar Invagination by Atlantoaxial Facet Joint Release and Fixation

Posterior Reduction of Fixed Atlantoaxial Dislocation and Basilar Invagination by Atlantoaxial Facet Joint Release and Fixation- A Modified Technique With 174 Cases

Neurosurgery 78:391–400, 2016

Treatment of fixed atlantoaxial dislocation (AAD) with basilar invagination (BI) is challenging.

OBJECTIVE: To introduce a modified technique to reduce fixed AAD and BI through a posterior approach.

METHODS: From 2007 to 2013, 174 patients with fixed AAD and BI underwent surgical reduction by posterior atlantoaxial facet joint release and fixation technique.

RESULTS: There was 1 death in the series, and 3 patients were lost to follow-up. The follow-up period ranged from 12 to 52 months (mean: 35.2 months) for the remaining 170 patients. Neurological improvement was observed in 168 of 170 patients (98.8%), and was stable in 1 (0.06%) and exacerbated in 1 (0.06%), with the Japanese Orthopedic Association scores increasing from 11.4 preoperatively to 15.8 postoperatively (P , .01). Radiologically, complete or .90% reduction was attained in 107 patients (62.9%), 60% to 90% reduction was attained in 51 patients (30%), and ,50% reduction was attained in 12 patients (7.1%), who underwent additional transoral decompression. Complete decompression was demonstrated in all 170 patients. Solid bony fusion was demonstrated in 167 patients at follow-up (98.2%).

CONCLUSION: This series showed the safety and efficacy of the posterior C1-2 facet joint release and reduction technique for the treatment of AAD and BI. Most fixed AAD and BI cases are reducible via this method. In most cases, this method avoids transoral odontoidectomy and cervical traction. Compared with the occiput-C2 screw method, this short-segment C1-2 technique exerts less antireduction shearing force, guarantees longer bone purchase, and provides more immediate stabilization.

Distraction, Compression, Extension, and Reduction Combined With Joint Remodeling and Extra-articular Distraction: Description of 2 New Modifications for Its Application in Basilar Invagination and Atlantoaxial Dislocation: Prospective Study in 79 Cases


Neurosurgery 77:67–80, 2015

Recent strategies for treatment of basilar invagination (BI) and atlantoaxial dislocation (AAD) are based on simultaneous posterior reduction and fixation.

OBJECTIVE: To describe new modifications of the procedure distraction, compression, extension, and reduction (DCER), ie, joint remodeling (JRM) and extra-articular distraction (EAD) in patients with “vertical” joints, and to quantify the improvement in joint indices, ie, sagittal inclination (SI), craniocervical tilt (CCT), and coronal inclination.

METHODS: Prospective study (May 2010 to September 2014). Joint indices measured included (normal values): SI (87.15 ± 5.65º), CCT (60.2 ± 9.2), and coronal inclination (110.3 ± 4.23). Surgical procedures included DCER alone (performed in SI ,100, group I) or JRM with DCER (in SI: 100-160, group II), or EAD with DCER in severe BI with almost vertical joints (SI >160º, group III).

RESULTS: Seventy-nine patients were selected (mean, 22.5 years of age). All conventional indices improved significantly (P < .001). CCT improved in all groups (P < .01); group I (n = 32): 54 ± 8.7 (preoperative 80.71 ± 12.72); group II (n = 40): 58 ± 7.0 (preoperative 86.5 6 14); group III (n = 7): 62 ± 10.0 (preoperative 104 6 11.2). SI improved in both group I and II, P < .01 (cannot be measured in group III). At long-term follow-up (n = 64, 29 ± 8 months, range 12-39 months), the Nurick grade improved to 1.5 ±0.52 (preoperative: 3.4 6 0.65; P < .001).

CONCLUSION: DCER seems to be an effective technique in reducing both BI and AAD. JRM and EAD with DCER are useful in moderate to severe BI and AAD (with SI .100). Joint indices provide useful information for surgical strategy and planning.

Reduction and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion with posterior fixation versus transsacral cage fusion in situ with posterior fixation in the treatment of Grade 2 adult isthmic spondylolisthesis in the lumbosacral spine

J Neurosurg Spine 13:394–400, 2010.DOI: 10.3171/2010.3.SPINE09560

In situ transsacral fusion in the treatment of low-grade isthmic spondylolisthesis has rarely been reported. The authors treated 13 cases of L-5 Grade 2 isthmic spondylolisthesis associated with collapsed disc space and osteoporosis by using transsacral fusion and fixation, and compared its clinical and radiological outcomes with the results of transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and instrumental reduction in 21 patients.

Methods. The authors retrospectively analyzed 21 patients in Group A who were treated with reduction and TLIF, and 13 patients in Group B who were treated with transsacral cage fusion. Oswestry Disability Index and visual analog scale scores of back and leg pain were used to evaluate clinical outcomes. Radiological parameters for assessment included the percentage of slippage, whole lumbar lordosis, and lumbosacral angle. Operative data, fusion rate, and perioperative complications were recorded as well.

Results. The mean operation time and blood loss in Group B was less than that in Group A. Both groups realized good recovery from previous symptoms. The decrease in back and leg pain after surgery was significant within each group, without much difference between the 2 groups. No significant differences were found in lumbosacral angle, whole lumbar lordosis, visual analog scale score, and Oswestry Disability Index score between the 2 groups after surgery. The solid fusion rate was 95.2% in Group A and 92.3% in Group B. In Group A, 2 patients suffered from graft site pain, 1 had a superficial infection, and 1 had screw loosening; in Group B, dural tears were found in 2 patients, transient S-1 paresthesia in 2, and extensor hallucis longus muscle weakness in 1.

Conclusions. For patients with a collapsed disc space and poor bone quality, posterior in situ transsacral cage fusion may be used as an alternative to the TLIF procedure. The short-term clinical and radiological outcomes in the transsacral cage group were comparable with those in the TLIF group, although with a relatively higher neurological complication rate.