Recently, aggressive surgical techniques and a push toward en bloc resections of certain tumors have resulted in a need for creative spinal column reconstruction. Iatrogenic instability following these resections requires a thoughtful approach to adequately transfer load-bearing forces from the skull and upper cervical spine to the subaxial spine.
The authors present a series of 7 cases in which lateral mass reconstruction with a cage or fibular strut graft was used to provide load-bearing support, including 1 case of bilateral cage placement.
The authors discuss the surgical nuances of en bloc resection of high cervical tumors and explain their technique for lateral mass cage placement. Additionally, they provide their rationale for the use of these constructs throughout the craniocervical junction and subaxial spine.
Lateral mass reconstruction provides a potential alternative or adjuvant method of restoring the load-bearing capabilities of the cervical spine.