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Eur Spine J. 2014 Aug;23(8):1633-40. doi: 10.1007/s00586-013-3158-x. Epub 2014 Jan 11.

Surgical management of the fractures of axis body: indications and surgical strategy.

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Department of Orthopaedics, The First Affiliated Hospital of AnHui Medical University, 218 Jixi Road, Shushan District, Hefei, Anhui, 230022, China,



The axis body fractures are relatively uncommon and have a variety of presentations. Surgical management to them has been only reported as case reports or included as a minor part of clinical management. The objective of this study is to summarize the indications for surgery and report the clinical outcome of surgical treatment based on different fracture patterns.


A retrospective analysis of 28 consecutive patients presenting with the axis body fractures was undertaken. The indications for surgical treatment were defined as: (1) fractures associated with instability of adjacent joints; (2) irreducible displaced superior articular facet fracture; (3) fractures resulting in spinal cord compression. The fractures were classified as sagittal, coronal, transverse and lateral mass fracture. One of the following surgical procedures was applied according to the fracture pattern: posterior C1-C2 pedicle screws fixation and fusion (I); posterior C1-C3 screws fixation and fusion (II); posterior osteosynthesis with C2 transpedicular half-thread lag screws (III).


13 patients were successfully managed operatively. Two transverse and two unilateral lateral mass fractures were treated with surgical procedure I, five sagittal fractures with II, four coronal fractures with III. Complications of malposition of screws and neurologic deficit did not occur during operation. Satisfactory reduction and bony union were demonstrated on postoperative radiographics.


Conservative treatment is still advocated as primary management for most axis body fractures. But for patients with obvious adjacent joints instability or irreducible displaced superior articular facet fracture, surgical intervention based on the different fracture pattern is necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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