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World Neurosurg. 2018 Sep;117:e631-e636. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2018.06.102. Epub 2018 Jun 22.

Analysis of Computed Tomography Scan After Anterior Odontoid Screw Fixation with the Herbert Screw: Is It Effective to Reduce Fracture Gap?

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: dccho@knu.ac.kr.
2
Department of Neurosurgery, Parkweonwook Hospital, Busan, Republic of Korea.
3
Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu, Republic of Korea.
4
Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Kyungpook National University, School of Medicine, Daegu, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess computed tomography scans to evaluate the extent of reduction of fracture displacement and fracture gap after anterior odontoid screw fixation using the Herbert screw.

METHODS:

Thirty-seven odontoid fractures were reduced and treated by anterior odontoid screw fixation with the Herbert screw. There were 37 patients whose age ranged from 20 to 79 years. Three-dimensional computed tomography scans were obtained for all patients to assess the screw position, the presence of the penetration of superior cortex of dens, the extent of reduction of fracture displacement, and fracture gap.

RESULTS:

Mean fracture displacement was 2.6 ± 3.2 mm before surgery; after the operation this value was 1.0 ± 1.5 mm. The difference in fracture gap between the preoperative and the postoperative state was -0.1 ± 1.1 mm, which was not statistically significant (P = 0.667). We achieved cortical purchase in only 16 of 37 patients (43.2%); cortical purchase was not obtained in 21 patients (56.7%) due to the fear of the risk of the damage of neural and vascular structures. Of these 21 patients who had no penetration of the superior cortex of dens, widening of the fracture gap occurred in 12 patients (57%), no change in 6 patients (29%), and there was shortening in 3 patients (14%). However, of the 16 patients with penetration of apical dens tip, we achieved significant reduction of fracture gap (P = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS:

To maximize reduction of fracture gap using the Herbert screw, it is essential to penetrate the apical dens tip.

KEYWORDS:

Fracture gap; Herbert screw; Lag screw; Odontoid process; Reduction

PMID:
29940381
DOI:
10.1016/j.wneu.2018.06.102
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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