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Richard Rhiew, Sunil Manjila, Adam DeZure, Monir Tabbosha, Murali Guthikonda and Hazem Eltahawy

The authors describe a technique for minimally invasive anterior vertebroplasty for treating metastatic disease of the C-2 vertebra and discuss its application in 2 cases. After a 2-cm lateral neck incision is made, blunt dissection is performed toward the anterior inferior endplate of the C-2 vertebra. An 11-gauge needle is introduced through a tubular sheath and tapped into the inferior endplate of C-2, with biplanar fluoroscopy being performed to confirm position. The needle is subsequently advanced across the fracture line and into the odontoid process. Under fluoroscopic guidance, 2 ml of methylmethacrylate is injected into the odontoid process and vertebral body. This method is advantageous as 1) hyperextension of the neck is not performed, 2) the chance of inadvertent neurovascular or submandibular gland injury is minimized, 3) the possibility of cement leakage is decreased, and 4) hemostasis is better achieved under direct vision.

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Monir Tabbosha, Justin Dowdy and T. Glenn Pait

Over the past several decades, many advancements and new techniques have emerged regarding the instrumentation and stabilization of the upper cervical spine. In this article, the authors describe a novel technique in which a unilateral lag screw was placed to reduce and stabilize a progressively widening fracture and nonunion of the right C-1 lateral mass approximately 8 weeks after the initial injury, which was sustained when a large tree branch fell onto the patient's posterior head and neck.