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Accuracy of the freehand technique for 3 fixation methods in the C-2 vertebrae

Melvin D. Helgeson, Ronald A. Lehman Jr., Anton E. Dmitriev, Daniel G. Kang, Rick C. Sasso, Chadi Tannoury, and K. Daniel Riew

Object

Intraoperative imaging often does not provide adequate visualization to ensure safe placement of screws. Therefore, the authors investigated the accuracy of a freehand technique for placement of pars, pedicle, and intralaminar screws in C-2.

Methods

Sixteen cadaveric specimens were instrumented freehand by 2 experienced cervical spine surgeons with either a pars or pedicle screw, and bilateral intralaminar screws. The technique was based on anatomical starting points and published screw trajectories. A pedicle finder was used to establish the trajectory, followed by tapping, palpation, and screw placement. After placement of all screws (16 pars screws, 16 pedicle screws, and 32 intralaminar screws), the C-2 segments were disarticulated, radiographed in anteroposterior, lateral, and axial planes, and meticulously inspected by another spine surgeon to determine the nature and presence of any defects.

Results

A total of 64 screws were evaluated in this study. Pars screws exhibited 2 critical defects (1 in the foramen transversarium and 1 in the C2–3 facet) and an insignificant dorsal cortex breech, for an overall accuracy rate of 81.3%. Pedicle screws demonstrated only 1 insignificant violation (inferior facet/medial cortex intrusion of 1 mm) with an accuracy rate of 93.8%, and intralaminar screws demonstrated 3 insignificant violations (2 in the ventral canal, 1 in the caudad lamina breech) for an accuracy rate of 90.6%. Pars screws had significantly more critical violations than intralaminar screws (p = 0.041).

Conclusions

Instrumentation of the C-2 vertebrae using the freehand technique for insertion of pedicle and intralaminar screws showed a high success rate with no critical violations. Pars screw insertion was not as reliable, with 2 critical violations from a total of 16 placements. The freehand technique appears to be a safe and reliable method for insertion of C-2 pedicle and intralaminar screws.

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A new technique for reduction of atlantoaxial subluxation using a simple tool during posterior segmental screw fixation

Clinical article

Bo-Gun Suh, Mary Ruth A. Padua, K. Daniel Riew, Ho-Joong Kim, Bong-Soon Chang, Choon-Ki Lee, and Jin S. Yeom

Object

The authors introduce a simple technique and tool to facilitate reduction of atlantoaxial subluxation during posterior segmental screw fixation.

Methods

Two types of reduction tool have been designed: T-type and L-type. A T-shaped levering tool was used when a pedicle or pars screw was used for C-2, and an L-shaped tool was used when a laminar screw was used for C-2. Twenty-two patients who underwent atlantoaxial segmental screw fixation and fusion for the treatment of anteroposterior instability or subluxation, using either of these new types of reduction tool, were enrolled. Demographic, clinical, and surgical data, which had been prospectively collected in a database, were analyzed. The atlantodens interval was measured on lateral radiographs, and the space available for the spinal cord was measured on CT scans.

Results

The authors could attain reduction of the atlantoaxial subluxation without difficulty using either type of tool. The preoperative atlantodens interval ranged from −16.9 to 10.9 mm in a neutral position, and the postoperative interval ranged from −2.8 to 3.0 mm, with negative values due to extension-type or mixed-type instability. The mean space available for the spinal cord significantly increased, from 9.5 mm preoperatively to 15.4 mm postoperatively (p < 0.001).

Conclusions

This technique allowed for controlled manipulation and reduction of the atlantoaxial subluxation without difficulty.

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Indirect decompression for a prior severe C1–2 dislocation causing progressive quadriparesis

Case report

Kyeong Hwan Kim, Dong Bong Lee, Ho-Joong Kim, K. Daniel Riew, Boo Seop Kim, Bong-Soon Chang, Choon-Ki Lee, and Jin S. Yeom

Combined anterior and posterior surgery is frequently chosen for the treatment of prior, severe C1–2 dislocations that occurred during early childhood because of the difficulty in achieving reduction and satisfactory decompression. The authors treated a prior, severe C1–2 dislocation that was causing progressive quadriparesis. The patient was a 14-year-old boy who had suffered a C1–2 fracture-dislocation at 3 years of age and had been treated with a Minerva body jacket cast. The treatment involved posterior C1–2 segmental screw fixation, without direct bone decompression or additional surgery. Satisfactory neural decompression was achieved with the techniques used, and complete bone union was confirmed. The patient showed satisfactory neurological recovery at the 5-year follow-up assessment.

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Letter to the Editor: Reduction of atlantoaxial subluxation

Peng-Yuan Chang, Jau-Ching Wu, Wen-Cheng Huang, Tsung-Hsi Tu, and Henrich Cheng

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Predictors of neurologic outcome after surgery for cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament differ based on myelopathy severity: a multicenter study

Jun Jae Shin, Hyeongseok Jeon, Jong Joo Lee, Hyung Cheol Kim, Tae Woo Kim, Sung Bae An, Dong Ah Shin, Seong Yi, Keung-Nyun Kim, Do-Heum Yoon, Narihito Nagoshi, Kota Watanabe, Masaya Nakamura, Morio Matsumoto, Nan Li, Sai Ma, Da He, Wei Tian, Kenny Yat Hong Kwan, Kenneth Man Chee Cheung, K. Daniel Riew, Daniel J. Hoh, Yoon Ha, and the Asia Pacific Spine Study Group (APSSG)

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this retrospective multicenter study was to compare prognostic factors for neurological recovery in patients undergoing surgery for cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) based on their presenting mild, moderate, or severe myelopathy.

METHODS

The study included 372 consecutive patients with OPLL who underwent surgery for cervical myelopathy between 2006 and 2016 in East Asian countries with a high OPLL prevalence. Baseline and postoperative clinical outcomes were assessed using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) myelopathy score and recovery ratio. Radiographic assessment included occupying ratio, cervical range of motion, and sagittal alignment parameters. Patient myelopathy was classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on the preoperative JOA score. Linear and multivariate regression analyses were performed to identify patient and surgical factors associated with neurological recovery stratified by baseline myelopathy severity.

RESULTS

The mean follow-up period was 45.4 months (range 25–140 months). The mean preoperative and postoperative JOA scores and recovery ratios for the total cohort were 11.7 ± 3.0, 14.5 ± 2.7, and 55.2% ± 39.3%, respectively. In patients with mild myelopathy, only age and diabetes correlated with recovery. In patients with moderate to severe myelopathy, older age and preoperative increased signal intensity on T2-weighted imaging were significantly correlated with a lower likelihood of recovery, while female sex and anterior decompression with fusion (ADF) were associated with better recovery.

CONCLUSIONS

Various patient and surgical factors are correlated with likelihood of neurological recovery after surgical treatment for cervical OPLL, depending on the severity of presenting myelopathy. Older age, male sex, intramedullary high signal intensity, and posterior decompression are associated with less myelopathy improvement in patients with worse baseline function. Therefore, myelopathy-specific preoperative counseling regarding prognosis for postoperative long-term neurological improvement should include consideration of these individual and surgical factors.

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Reliability assessment of a novel cervical spine deformity classification system

Christopher P. Ames, Justin S. Smith, Robert Eastlack, Donald J. Blaskiewicz, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Frank Schwab, Shay Bess, Han Jo Kim, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Eric Klineberg, Munish Gupta, Michael O’Brien, Richard Hostin, Justin K. Scheer, Themistocles S. Protopsaltis, Kai-Ming G. Fu, Robert Hart, Todd J. Albert, K. Daniel Riew, Michael G. Fehlings, Vedat Deviren, Virginie Lafage, and International Spine Study Group

OBJECT

Despite the complexity of cervical spine deformity (CSD) and its significant impact on patient quality of life, there exists no comprehensive classification system. The objective of this study was to develop a novel classification system based on a modified Delphi approach and to characterize the intra- and interobserver reliability of this classification.

METHODS

Based on an extensive literature review and a modified Delphi approach with an expert panel, a CSD classification system was generated. The classification system included a deformity descriptor and 5 modifiers that incorporated sagittal, regional, and global spinopelvic alignment and neurological status. The descriptors included: “C,” “CT,” and “T” for primary cervical kyphotic deformities with an apex in the cervical spine, cervicothoracic junction, or thoracic spine, respectively; “S” for primary coronal deformity with a coronal Cobb angle ≥ 15°; and “CVJ” for primary craniovertebral junction deformity. The modifiers included C2–7 sagittal vertical axis (SVA), horizontal gaze (chin-brow to vertical angle [CBVA]), T1 slope (TS) minus C2–7 lordosis (TS–CL), myelopathy (modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association [mJOA] scale score), and the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)-Schwab classification for thoracolumbar deformity. Application of the classification system requires the following: 1) full-length standing posteroanterior (PA) and lateral spine radiographs that include the cervical spine and femoral heads; 2) standing PA and lateral cervical spine radiographs; 3) completed and scored mJOA questionnaire; and 4) a clinical photograph or radiograph that includes the skull for measurement of the CBVA. A series of 10 CSD cases, broadly representative of the classification system, were selected and sufficient radiographic and clinical history to enable classification were assembled. A panel of spinal deformity surgeons was queried to classify each case twice, with a minimum of 1 intervening week. Inter- and intrarater reliability measures were based on calculations of Fleiss k coefficient values.

RESULTS

Twenty spinal deformity surgeons participated in this study. Interrater reliability (Fleiss k coefficients) for the deformity descriptor rounds 1 and 2 were 0.489 and 0.280, respectively, and mean intrarater reliability was 0.584. For the modifiers, including the SRS-Schwab components, the interrater (round 1/round 2) and intrarater reliabilities (Fleiss k coefficients) were: C2–7 SVA (0.338/0.412, 0.584), horizontal gaze (0.779/0.430, 0.768), TS-CL (0.721/0.567, 0.720), myelopathy (0.602/0.477, 0.746), SRS-Schwab curve type (0.590/0.433, 0.564), pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis (0.554/0.386, 0.826), pelvic tilt (0.714/0.627, 0.633), and C7-S1 SVA (0.071/0.064, 0.233), respectively. The parameter with the poorest reliability was the C7–S1 SVA, which may have resulted from differences in interpretation of positive and negative measurements.

CONCLUSIONS

The proposed classification provides a mechanism to assess CSD within the framework of global spinopelvic malalignment and clinically relevant parameters. The intra- and interobserver reliabilities suggest moderate agreement and serve as the basis for subsequent improvement and study of the proposed classification.

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Abstracts of the 2017 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves Las Vegas, Nevada • March 8–11, 2017

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Abstracts of the 10th Annual Meeting of the Lumbar Spine Research Society Chicago, Illinois • April 6 & 7, 2017

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2017 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting Los Angeles, CA • April 22–26, 2017