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Chinese Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma ; (12): 618-622, 2019.
Article in Chinese | WPRIM | ID: wpr-754773


Objective To investigate the clinical efficacy of treating injury to the upper cervical spine with posterior internal fixation without bone graft fusion.Methods Included in this retrospective study were 35 patients with upper cervical injury who had been treated at Department of Orthopedics,The Second Affiliated Hospital to Soochow University from June 2010 to August 2017.They were 21 males and 14 females with an average age of 44.1 years (from 26 to 56 years).They were all treated firstly by posterior occipitocervical internal fixation or internal fixation with atlantoaxial pedicle screws without bone graft fusion.The internal fixation was then removed after a solid bone union was confirmed by X-ray.The scores of Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA),visual analogue scale (VAS),Neck disability index (NDI) and neck stiffness were used to evaluate the functional recovery of the upper cervical spine.We also observed the rotational range of the upper cervical spine using functional CT scan of C 1-C2.Results All the pedicle screws were successfully implanted after satisfactory intraoperative reduction,leading to no injury to the vertebral artery or spinal cord.All patients were followed up for an average of 18.1 months (from 7 to 28 months).At preoperation,post-implantation and final follow-up,the JOA scores were 6.5 ± 1.4,7.7 ± 1.5 and 16.1 ± 0.8 points,the VAS scores 6.1 ± 1.6,2.8 ± 0.8 and 1.1 ± 0.9 points,and the NDI scores 37.9 ± 2.6,20.3 ± 3.8 and 3.7 ± 1.7 points,showing significant improvements after internal fixation and after removal of internal fixation (P < 0.05).Serious neck stiffness was observed in none of the 35 patients,mild neck stiffness in 12 patients and freedom from neck stiffness in 23 patients.The postoperative radiological analysis revealed fine fracture reduction and bony union in all.After 6 to 12 months the rotation of upper cervical spine was obviously improved and the left-to-right range of rotation of C 1-C2 was 35.4° ± 2.6° as revealed by functional CT scan.Conclusion For the middle aged and young patients with new injury to the upper cervical spine,the posterior occipitocervical internal fixation or internal fixation with atlantoaxial pedicle screws can be performed without bone graft fusion at the first stage and removal of internal fixation can be done at the second stage so that the atlantoaxial rotation can be preserved to ensure satisfactory clinical efficacy while bone union can be also ensured and pain reduced.