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World Neurosurg. 2017 Oct;106:382-393. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2017.06.148. Epub 2017 Jul 1.

Endonasal Endoscopic Odontoidectomy in Ventral Diseases of the Craniocervical Junction: Results of a Multicenter Experience.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Strasbourg University Hospital, Strasbourg, France. Electronic address:
Department of Neurosurgery, Strasbourg University Hospital, Strasbourg, France.
Department of Neurosurgery, Foch Hospital, Suresnes (Paris), France.
Department of Neurosurgery, Parma University Hospital, Parma, Italy.
Department of ENT, Strasbourg University Hospital, Strasbourg, France.



Over the past decades, supported by preliminary anatomic and clinical studies exploring its feasibility and safety, experience has increased of the use of the endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) to ventral diseases at the craniocervical junction (CCJ).


A multicenter study was carried out over a 4-year period of 14 patients managed by EEA odontoidectomy for CCJ diseases causing irreducible atlantoaxial dislocation. The surgical setup included an IGS system based on computed tomography and magnetic resonance images fusion, and 0° and 30° angled endoscopes with dedicated endoscopic tools.


Nine men and 5 women, with a mean age of 60.7 years, were included. The mean follow-up was 28.5 months; 9 patients had basilar impression, whereas 5 had a degenerative pannus. The quality of anterior decompression was excellent in all cases; nonetheless, a posterior stabilization was deemed necessary in 13 patients, and no external orthosis was used during the postoperative course. No tracheostomy or gastrostomy was required after surgery; no deaths, no new neurologic deficits/complications, and no postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leak were recorded. At follow-up, the neurologic status assessed with Frankel grade did not deteriorate in any of the patients but improved in 13 of them; and no new listhesis was shown on neuroradiologic follow-up.


The results show that EEA provides a direct surgical corridor to the CCJ, allowing an adequate decompression as with the more invasive transoral route. Morbidity is less than with a transoral approach, resulting in higher patient comfort and faster recovery.


Craniocervical junction; Decompression; Endonasal; Endoscopy; Odontoidectomy; Transoral

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