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Eur Spine J. 2010 Aug;19(8):1312-7. doi: 10.1007/s00586-010-1447-1. Epub 2010 Jun 5.

Clinical application of C2 laminar screw technique.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, The Sixth Hospital of Ningbo, 1059 Zhongshan East Road, Ningbo, 315040 Zhejiang, People's Republic of China.


C2 laminar screws have become an increasingly used alternative method to C2 pedicle screw fixation. However, the outcome of this technique has not been thoroughly investigated. A total of 35 cases with upper cervical spinal instability undergoing C2 laminar screw fixation were reviewed. All cases had symptoms of atlantoaxial instability, such as craniocervical junction pain, and were fixed with the Vertex cervical internal fixation system. A total of 68 screws were placed and hybrid constructs (a C2 translaminar screw combined with a C2 pars screw) were incorporated in two patients. In this series, there were no intraoperative complications and no cases of neurological worsening or vascular injury from hardware placement. Computed tomographic scans demonstrated a partial dorsal laminar breach in ten patients. None of these resulted in neurological symptoms. None of the patients was found to have a breach of the ventral laminar cortex. All the C2 laminar screws fixations were performed successfully. There was no instability seen on the films with no evidence of hardware failure or screw loosening during the follow-up period in all patients. In conclusion, C2 laminar screw technique is straightforward and easily adopted; it can efficiently and reliably restore upper cervical stability. It is an alternative method to C2 pedicle screw fixation, especially in patients with unilateral occlusion of vertebral artery and pedicle deformity of C2.

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