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Single anterior procedure for stabilization of a three-part fracture of the axis (odontoid dens and hangman fracture): case report

Single anterior procedure for stabilization of a three-part fracture of the axis (odontoid dens and hangman fracture): case report

Spine 34(7): E255-E257

A case of a 3-part fracture of the axis combining an odontoid dens and a hangman fracture is reported. To describe a single anterior procedure allowing stabilization with an odontoid screw fixation and a C2-C3 fusion in a case of complex fracture of the axis. Even if fractures of the axis are common, multiples fractures of the axis are rare and their management is still challenging for surgeons who have to achieve primary stability, early mobilization, preserved cervical range of motion, and favorable outcome. A 79-year-old man was referred in our neurosurgical department 3 weeks after a bicycle accident. He had persistent neck pain without radicular pain. Neurologic examination was normal. The initial CT scan showed a rare and complex fracture of the axis consisting of a fracture of the dens and a traumatic spondylolisthesis of C2-C3. The surgical procedure was performed using an anterior cervical approach under fluoroscopic guidance. First, a C2-C3 fusion was performed using an iliac crest graft. Then an anterior odontoid screw was placed under fluoroscopic guidance. Finally, an anterior plating of C2-C3 covering the odontoid screw was achieved. Postoperative course was uneventful and patient was discharged at day 6. This single time procedure was able to achieve primary stability of the fractures of the axis and offers the possibility of an early mobilization of the patient with a good outcome. This approach allowed a better preservation of the cervical range of motion compared with a classic posterior fusion.

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Accession: 055793147

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PMID: 19333089

DOI: 10.1097/brs.0b013e318195ab2d

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