✓ Fifty consecutive patients requiring posterior cervical fusion for various pathologies were treated with Halifax interlaminar clamps for internal spinal fixation. Fusion involved the C1–2 level in 17 cases, the C1–3 level in one, and the lower cervical area (C2–7) in 32. No patient was lost to follow-up review, which varied from 6 to 40 months (average 21 months). Fusion failed in five patients, three at the C1–2 level, one at the C1–3 level, and one at the C2–3 level. Screw loosening was the cause of failure in four patients, and in one the arch of C-1 fractured. No other complications occurred. Because of the lack of complications, avoidance of the hazards of sublaminar instrumentation, and an excellent fusion rate, this technique is highly recommended for posterior cervical fusion in the lower cervical spine. Atlantoaxial arthrodesis was achieved in only 14 (82%) of 17 patients, however, which might be due to the higher mobility at this multiaxial level. Improved results in this region may be possible by using a new modified interlaminar clamp, by performing adequate bone fusions, and by postoperative external halo immobilization in high-risk patients.
E. Francois Aldrich, Peter B. Weber and Wayne N. Crow
E. Francois Aldrich, Wayne N. Crow, Peter B. Weber and Thomas N. Spagnolia
✓ Twenty-one patients requiring posterior cervical fusion were treated with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging-compatible Halifax interlaminar clamps for internal fixation. Various levels were involved: the C1–2 level in eight cases, the C4–5 level in four, the C5–6 level in three, the C6–7 level in three, the C4–6 level in two, and the C5–7 level in one. Bilateral clamps were used in 18 cases and unilateral clamps in three. Autogenous iliac bone grafting was performed in all cases but one. Follow-up periods ranged from 1 to 18 months (average 9.2 months), with no complications or mechanical failures occurring thus far. Follow-up diagnostic studies revealed rigid fixation and fusion in all cases. The MR imaging-compatibility of the clamps allowed excellent follow-up studies with minimal artifact. Because of their ease of use, rigid stabilization, good results, lack of complications, and compatibility with MR imaging, the Halifax interlaminar clamp with bone grafting provides an ideal method for posterior cervical stabilization.