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Cervical anterior transpedicular screw fixation. Part I: Study on morphological feasibility, indications, and technical prerequisites

By Heiko Koller, Axel Hempfing, Frank Acosta, Michael Fox, Armin Scheiter, Mark Tauber, Ulrich Holz, Herbert Resch and Wolfgang Hitzl


Multilevel cervical spine procedures can challenge the stability of current anterior cervical screw-and-plate systems, particularly in cases of severe three-column subaxial cervical spine injuries and multilevel plated reconstructions in osteoporotic bone. Supplemental posterior instrumentation is therefore recommended to increase primary construct rigidity and diminish early failure rates. The increasing number of successfully performed posterior cervical pedicle screw fixations have enabled more stable fixations, however most cervical pathologies are located anteriorly and preferably addressed by an anterior approach. To combine the advantages of the anterior approach with the superior biomechanical characteristics of cervical pedicle screw fixation, the authors developed a new concept of a cervical anterior transpedicular screw-and-plate system. An in vivo anatomical study was performed to explore the feasibility of anterior transpedicular screw fixation (ATPS) in the cervical spine. The morphological study was conducted based on 29 cervical spine CT scans from healthy patients and measurements were performed on the pedicle sizes, angulations, vertebral body depth, height and width at C2 to T1. Significant morphologic parameters for the new technique are discussed. These parameters include the sagittal and transverse intersection points of the pedicle axis with the anterior vertebral body wall, as well as the distances between sagittal intersection points from C2 to T1. On the basis of these results, standard spine models were reconstructed and used for the conceptual development of a preclinical release prototype of an anterior transpedicular screw-and-plate system. The morphological feasibility of the new technique is demonstrated, and its indications, biomechanical considerations, as well as surgical prerequisites are thoroughly discussed. In the future, the technique of cervical anterior transpedicular screw fixation might diminish the number of failures in the reconstruction of multilevel and three-column cervical spine instabilities, and avoid the need for supplemental posterior instrumentation

Topics: Original Article
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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