Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995 Oct;113(4):393-400.

Transoral-transpharyngeal approach to the craniocervical junction.

Author information

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0342, USA.


The transoral-transpharyngeal approach is a reliable and technically sound method for gaining anterior extradural exposure to the craniocervical junction. We report 23 patients undergoing this approach for pathology lying between the inferior clivus and third cervical vertebra. Pathology included 6 patients with congenital malformations of the odontoid process, 4 patients with basilar invagination caused by rheumatoid arthritis, 2 patients with atlantoaxial subluxation caused by Down's syndrome, and 1 each with Chiari I malformation, pseudogout of C1/C2, ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament, and chronic dens dislocation caused by trauma. Malignant tumors included 4 chordomas, 2 giant cell tumors of C1-C3, and 1 chondrosarcoma. Orotracheal intubation without tracheotomy was used in 22 patients. Sixteen of these 22 patients were extubated either immediately or within 24 hours. Six complications occurred in 5 patients and included a palatal dehiscence in 2, delayed oropharyngeal hemorrhage, prolonged endotracheal intubation because of severe tongue edema, and 1 case each of meningitis and aspiration pneumonia responsive to intravenous antibiotics. No deaths, local infections, or postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leaks occurred. Neurologic symptoms of cord compression improved or stabilized in all patients. The transoral-transpharyngeal approach is an effective means for extradural decompression of the anterior craniocervical junction and for exposure of selected tumors at this site.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon
    Loading ...
    Support Center