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Amory J. Fiore, Regis W. Haid, Gerald E. Rodts, Brian R. Subach, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Charles J. Riedel and Barry D. Birch

Object

A variety of techniques may be used to achieve fixation of the upper cervical spine. Transarticular atlantoaxial screws, posterior interspinous cable and graft constructs, and interlaminar clamps have been used effectively to achieve atlantoaxial fixation. Various anatomical factors, however, may preclude the successful application of these techniques. These factors include aberrant vertebral artery anatomy, irreducible atlantoaxial subluxation, exaggerated cervicothoracic kyphosis, and the absence of the osseous substrate for fixation. In these cases, an alternative method of fixation must be performed. The authors present an alternative method to achieve fixation of the atlas in which lateral mass screws can be applied to atlantoaxial and occipitocervical fixation.

Methods

Between February 1998 and November 2001, eight patients who ranged in age from 16 to 74 years underwent posterior fixation for upper cervical instability. Diagnoses included C-2 metastastic disease in two patients, irreducible odontoid fractures in two patients, atlantoaxial subluxation in two patients, and transverse ligament synovial cyst in two patients. Various anatomical factors precluded transarticular atlantoaxial screw fixation in seven patients. One patient with a highly unstable spine due to a C-2 metastasis and pathological fracture underwent occipitocervical fusion.

Atlantocervical fixation was achieved in seven patients by using varying constructs incorporating C-1 lateral mass screws. Occipitocervical fixation was achieved in one patient by incorporating C-1 lateral mass screws as an additional fixation point. A total of 14 C-1 lateral mass screws were placed in eight patients. There were no intraoperative complications. In all patients rigid fixation was achieved as demonstrated on postoperative radiographs. One patient died on postoperative Day 9 of aspiration pneumonia. At a mean follow-up time of 7.4 months, rigid fixation was maintained in all patients.

Conclusions

Atlantal lateral mass screws can be used to provide a safe and efficacious means of achieving atlantoaxial fixation when anatomical constraints preclude the use of a more traditional procedure. Atlantal lateral mass screws may also be incorporated in occipitocervical constructs to provide additional fixation points which may prevent construct failure.

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Praveen V. Mummaneni, Regis W. Haid, Vincent C. Traynelis, Rick C. Sasso, Brian R. Subach, Amory J. Fiore and Gerald E. Rodts

Object

Standard lateral mass plate and screw systems are of limited use in patients with abnormal cervical anatomy and do not easily allow for extension to either the occipit or the thoracic spine. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the safety, surgical efficacy, and advantages of a new cervical polyaxial screw and rod system for posterior occipitocervicothoracic arthrodesis.

Methods

The authors reviewed a multicenter series of patients who underwent surgery in which they used a new posterior cervical polyaxial screw and rod system. The system was implanted in 32 (20 women and 12 men) adult patients (mean age 56.9 years, range 23–84 years). Twentythree of the patients were treated for spondylostenosis; four for cervical fracture/dislocations; four for kyphosis; and one patient was treated for pseudarthrosis that developed after prior surgery.

The system was successfully implanted in all patients despite the presence of anatomical lateral mass anomalies in the majority of cases. The mean number of levels fused was 3.9 (range one–eight levels). This dynamic system allowed for screw placement into the occiput, C-1 lateral masses, C-2 pars, C3–7 lateral masses, and low cervical as well as upper thoracic pedicles. Selective application of compressive or distractive forces was possible in adjacent segments. Surgery-related complications included one dural tear and one malpositioned screw. There were two cases of wound infection.

Conclusions

Unlike standard lateral mass plate and screw systems, the new cervical polyaxial screw and rod system easily accommodates severe degenerative cervical spondylosis and curvatures. This instrumentation system allows for polyaxial screw placement with subsequent multiplanar rod contouring and offset attachment. The authors have used this system successfully, and without significant complications, to achieve posterior cervical arthrodesis.

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Praveen V. Mummaneni, Valli P. Mummaneni, Regis W. Haid Jr., Gerald E. Rodts Jr. and Rick C. Sasso

The correction of chin-on-chest deformity is challenging and requires combined anterior and posterior approaches to the cervical spine. The authors describe a cervical osteotomy technique for the correction of chin-on-chest deformity in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). This procedure can be accomplished using a posterior screw rod construct combined with an anterior hybrid plate system.

In patients with AS, a “front-back-front” approach may be necessary because of the deformity's rigidity. The authors describe the complicated intubation and anesthetic requirements for this approach. They performed an anterior discectomy, cervical osteotomy, and unilateral pediculectomy but did not place anterior instrumentation. Via a posterior approach, laminectomies, facetectomies, and the contralateral pediculectomy were then undertaken. A posterior cervical screw/rod system was placed and loosely connected to titanium rods. Intraoperatively the deformity was corrected by placing the neck in extension combined with compression of the posterior screws on the rods. The posterior construct is then tightened. Finally, an anterior cervical approach is performed to place a structural interbody graft and a hybrid anterior cervical plate construct.

The authors have successfully used this approach to correct a chin-on-chest deformity in a patient with ankylosing spondylitis. At 1-year follow-up examination, excellent resolution of the deformity and solid fusion had been achieved. They prefer to perform this procedure by using state-of-the-art anterior and posterior instrumentation systems.

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Harel Deutsch, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Regis W. Haid, Gerald E. Rodts and Stephen L. Ondra

Primary tumors of the sacrum are rare. In adults, the most common sacral tumors are metastases. The most common primary sacral tumor is a chordoma. Chordomas along as well as tumors such as chondrosarcomas, osteosarcomas, myxopapillary ependymomas, myelomas, and Ewing sarcomas are considered malignant. In this article the authors focus on benign sacral tumors.

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Harel Deutsch, Regis W. Haid, Gerald E. Rodts and Praveen V. Mummaneni

Postlaminectomy cervical kyphosis is an important consideration when performing surgery. Identifying factors predisposing to postoperative deformity is essential. The goal is to prevent postlaminectomy cervical kyphosis while exposing the patient to minimal additional morbidity. When postlaminectomy kyphosis does occur, surgical correction is often required and performed via an anterior, posterior, or combined approach. The authors discuss the indications for surgical approaches as well as clinical results.

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Praveen V. Mummaneni, Jeff Pan, Regis W. Haid and Gerald E. Rodts

Object. The authors compared fusion rates in transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIFs) when using either autograft or bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) placed in the interbody space.

Methods. Between September 2002 and December 2003, the authors performed 44 TLIF operations. Follow-up data were available for 40 patients. Of the 40 procedures, 19 involved cages filled with iliac crest autograft (Group 1) and 21 involved cages filled with a medium kit of recombinant human (rh) BMP-2 (Group 2). In all Group 2 patients, one BMP sponge was placed anterior to the cage and another was placed within the cage. In 12 of the Group 2 patients, iliac crest autograft was placed posterior to the BMP-filled cage (Group 2A). In the remaining nine Group 2 patients, only local autograft was placed posterior to the BMP-filled cage (Group 2B). Assessment of fusion was performed using dynamic radiography at 3-month intervals. Outcomes were assessed using the Prolo Scale, and iliac crest donor site pain was measured using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS).

The mean follow-up period was 9 months (range 3–18 months). In Group 1 patients, one pseudarthrosis was detected. In Group 2 patients, dynamic radiography demonstrated solid fusion in all patients except one in Group 2B. Fiftyeight percent of patients in whom iliac crest autograft was used complained of donor site pain 6 months after surgery (5 of 10 points on the VAS). Symptomatic foraminal bone formation was not observed in any Group 2 patient.

Conclusions. The use of rhBMP-2 is safe in TLIFs when the sponges are placed away from the dura mater, and BMP promotes a more rapid fusion than iliac crest autograft alone. The use of rhBMP-2 in combination with local autograft is an excellent option for promoting solid fusion with TLIF, and it eliminates the possibility of iliac donor site pain.

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Lumbar interbody fusion: state-of-the-art technical advances

Invited submission from the Joint Section Meeting on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves, March 2004

Praveen V. Mummaneni, Regis W. Haid and Gerald E. Rodts

✓ During the past few decades, three techniques have been used to achieve circumferential lumbar interbody fusion (LIF). They include posterior LIF, anterior LIF with supplemental posterior fixation, and transforaminal LIF. In this article, the authors describe the indications and contraindications for the use of interbody fusion. The advantages and disadvantages of each will be discussed in detail. Additionally, strategies for minimally invasive access and options for interbody spacer materials will be discussed.

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The future in the care of the cervical spine: interbody fusion and arthroplasty

Invited submission from the Joint Section Meeting on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves, March 2004

Praveen V. Mummaneni and Regis W. Haid

✓ In the past 50 years tremendous advances have been made in the treatment of cervical disc disease with cervical fusion. Fusion rates have surpassed 95% after application of anterior cervical implants. Adjacent-segment degeneration, however, has plagued the long-term clinical success of cervical fusion.

Cervical arthroplasty has been introduced to maintain cervical motion and potentially avoid or minimize adjacent-segment degeneration. If cervical arthroplasty is successful, the long-term results of surgery for cervical disc disease may improve; however, there are associated drawbacks that must be overcome. Implant wear, fatigue, and failure have been reported in cases of large-joint arthroplasty, and research is underway to limit these problems in cervical arthroplasty.

In this article the authors trace the evolution of cervical fusion and the new technique of cervical arthroplasty. The nomenclature of cervical arthroplasty will also be introduced.

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The future in the care of the cervical spine: interbody fusion and arthroplasty

Invited submission from the Joint Section Meeting on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves, March 2004

Praveen V. Mummaneni and Regis W. Haid

✓ In the past 50 years tremendous advances have been made in the treatment of cervical disc disease with cervical fusion. Fusion rates have surpassed 95% after application of anterior cervical implants. Adjacent-segment degeneration, however, has plagued the long-term clinical success of cervical fusion.

Cervical arthroplasty has been introduced to maintain cervical motion and potentially avoid or minimize adjacent-segment degeneration. If cervical arthroplasty is successful, the long-term results of surgery for cervical disc disease may improve; however, there are associated drawbacks that must be overcome. Implant wear, fatigue, and failure have been reported in cases of large-joint arthroplasty, and research is underway to limit these problems in cervical arthroplasty.

In this article the authors trace the evolution of cervical fusion and the new technique of cervical arthroplasty. The nomenclature of cervical arthroplasty will also be introduced.

Restricted access