Pathologic odontoid fracture and benign fibrous histiocytoma of bone.
We present the case of a 44-year-old female patient, who sustained an odontoid fracture after a minor trauma (uncomplicated fall). The radiologic evaluation revealed a skeletal tumor of the second cervical vertebra together with a fracture line at the base of the odontoid process of the axis. The patient underwent surgery, the tumor was resected and the odontoid was stabilised using an autologous cortico-cancellous bone graft and a halo fixator. Histologic examination revealed benign fibrous histiocytoma, which is reported to be a very rare skeletal tumor. (+info)
Craniocervical junction synovial cyst associated with atlanto-axial dislocation--case report.
A 51-year-old female presented with a rare case of synovial cyst at the cruciate ligament of the odontoid process associated with atlanto-axial dislocation, manifesting as a history of headache and numbness in her left extremities for 5 months, and progressive motor weakness of her left leg. Neuroimaging studies revealed a small cystic lesion behind the dens, which severely compressed the upper cervical cord, and atlanto-axial dislocation. The cyst was successfully removed via the transcondylar approach. C-1 laminectomy and foramen magnum decompression were also performed. Posterior craniocervical fusion was carried out to stabilize the atlanto-axial dislocation. The cyst contained mucinous material. Histological examination detected synovial cells lining the fibrocartilaginous capsule. Synovial cysts of this region do not have typical symptoms or characteristic radiographic features. Careful preoperative evaluation of the symptoms and a less invasive strategy for removal of the cyst are recommended. (+info)
Management of odontoid fractures in the elderly.
Odontoid fractures are frequent in patients over 70 years of age, and in patients over 80 years of age they form the majority of spinal fractures. In a retrospective analysis of 23 geriatric (> 70 years) patients with a fracture of the odontoid, we compared some of the clinical features to a contemporary series of patients younger than 70 years of age. Whereas in the younger patients high-energy trauma accounted for the majority of the fractures, low-energy falls were the underlying cause in 90% of the odontoid fractures in the elderly. In contrast to the younger age group, in elderly patients predominantly type II fractures (95%) were identified. Anterior and posterior displacement were recorded with equal frequency on the first postinjury radiograph in the younger age group, whereas in geriatric patients displacement was mainly posterior. The number of associated injuries was significantly higher in younger patients. There was no difference in the occurrence of neurological deficits (13%) between the two age groups, and neurological compromise was mainly related to posterior dislocation of the odontoid in both groups. The overall complication rate was significantly higher in elderly patients (52.2% vs 32.7%), with an associated in-hospital mortality of 34.8%. Loss of reduction and non-union after non-operative treatment, a complicated postoperative course and complications due to associated injuries accounted primarily for this high complication rate. Elderly patients with a fracture of the odontoid are a high-risk group with a high morbidity and mortality rate. An aggressive diagnostic approach to detect unstable fractures and application of a halo device or early primary internal stabilisation of these fractures is recommended. (+info)
Stage-related surgery for cervical spine instability in rheumatoid arthritis.
Thirty-six consecutive patients with cervical spine instability due to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were treated surgically according to a stage-related therapeutic concept. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical results of these procedures. The initial change in RA of the cervical spine is atlanto-axial instability (AAI) due to incompetence of the cranio-cervical junction ligaments, followed by development of a peridontoid mass of granulation tissue. This results in inflammatory involvement of, and excessive dynamic forces on, the lateral masses of C1 and C2, leading to irreducible atlanto-axial kyphosis (AAK). Finally, cranial settling (CS) accompanied by subaxial subluxation (SAS) occurs. According to these three separate pathological and radiological lesions, the patients were divided into three therapeutic groups. Group I comprised 14 patients with isolated anterior AAI, who were treated by posterior wire fusion. Group II comprised 15 patients with irreducible AAK, who were treated by transoral odontoid resection. The fixation was done using anterior plating according to Harms in combination with posterior wire fusion according to Brooks. Group III comprised seven patients with CS and additional SAS, who were treated with occipito-cervical fusion. Pre- and postoperatively, evaluation was performed using the parameters pain (visual analog scale), range of motion (ROM), subjective improvement and Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ). The neurologic deficit was defined according to the classification proposed by Ranawat. Radiographs including lateral flexion and extension views, and MRI scans were obtained. The average clinical and radiographic follow-up of all patients was 50.7 +/- 19.3 months (range 21-96 months). No perioperative fatality occurred. Postoperative pain was significantly relieved in all groups (P < 0.001). In group II a slight improvement in the HAQ was obtained. In groups I and II the ROM of all patients increased significantly (average gain of motion in group I: 11.3 degrees +/- 7. 8 degrees for rotation; 7.8 degrees +/- 5.6 degrees for bending; average gain of motion in group II: 21.5 degrees +/- 14.0 degrees for rotation; 17.2 degrees +/- 5.5 degrees for bending), while it decreased significantly in group III (10.7 degrees +/- 18.1 degrees for rotation; 6.7 degrees +/- 18.5 degrees for bending). Preoperatively 27 patients had a manifest neurologic deficit. At follow-up four patients remained unchanged, all others improved by at least one Ranawat class. All patients, except one, showed solid bony fusion. According to the significantly improved postoperative subjective self-assessment and the clinical and radiological parameters, transoral plate fixation combined with posterior wire fixation after transoral odontoid resection represents an effective reliable and safe procedure for the treatment of irreducible AAK in rheumatoid arthritis. (+info)
Odontoid fractures: high complication rate associated with anterior screw fixation in the elderly.
This study is a retrospective analysis of patients older than 65 years with odontoid fractures. The series consisted of 29 consecutive patients with odontoid fractures (18 women, mean age 78, range 66-99 years). Twenty-six patients were neurologically intact, Frankel E, whereas three had neurological symptoms: two Frankel D and one Frankel C. Eleven patients were treated with anterior screw fixation according to Bohler, seven with a posterior C1-C2 fusion. Ten patients with either minimally displaced fractures or with complicating medical conditions were treated conservatively. At follow-up, 7/7 patients with posterior fusion had healed without any problems, whereas 8/11 patients treated with anterior screw fixation, and 7/10 conservatively treated patients were either failures or had healed, but after a complicated course of events. We conclude that anterior screw fixation according to Bohler is associated with an unacceptably high rate of problems in the elderly. Probable causes may be osteoporosis with comminution at the fracture site, or stiffness of the cervical spine preventing ideal positioning of the screws. As non-operative treatment also often fails, the method of choice seems to be posterior C1-C2 fusion. (+info)
Surgical treatment of nonunited fractures of the odontoid process, with special reference to occipitocervical fusion for unreducible atlantoaxial subluxation or instability.
Fifty-seven consecutive patients treated surgically for nonunited fractures of the odontoid process were reviewed. All patients presented late, exhibiting neurological deficits subsequent to nonunion. Delay in presentation was between 6 and 120 months (mean 32 months) after the original injury, due to missed diagnosis or inappropriate management. Seven patients who were reduced in traction underwent a Gallie atlantoaxial fusion. In the remaining 50 patients who were unreducible, an occipitocervical arthrodesis was performed. They were followed up for a minimum of 2 years, except one who died from postoperative respiratory failure. All patients obtained a solid bony union, including two in whom nonunion occurred following atlantoaxial fusion, and occipitocervical fusion was added as a rescue. Thirty-eight patients achieved excellent neurological recovery, nine still had some disability, five retained their neurological deficits and two reported a deterioration. In two patients, a recurrence in a traumatic episode was experienced long after a resolution. Our findings demonstrate that occipitocervical arthrodesis is preferable for unreducible subluxation or instability of atlantoaxial articulation in nonunion of odontoid fractures. (+info)
Fixation of odontoid fractures by an anterior screw.
We have reviewed 81 patients with fractures of the odontoid process treated between May 1983 and July 1997, by anterior screw fixation. There were 29 patients with Anderson and D'Alonzo type-II fractures and 52 with type III. Roy-Camille's classification identified the direction and instability of the fracture. Operative fixation was carried out on 48 men and 33 women with a mean age of 57 years. Associated injuries of the cervical spine were present in 15 patients, neurological signs in 13, and 18 had an Injury Severity Score of more than 15. Nine patients died and 11 were lost to follow-up. Of 61 patients, 56 (92%) achieved bony union at an average of 14.1 weeks. Two patients required a secondary posterior fusion after failure of the index operation. A full range of movement was restored in 43 patients; only six had a limitation of movement greater than 25%. We conclude that anterior screw fixation is effective and practicable in the treatment of fractures of the dens. (+info)
An 86-year-old male presented with progressive myelopathy due to retro-odontoid massive deposits of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) crystals. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a non-enhanced isointense extradural mass on the T1-weighted image and heterogeneously intense mass on the T2-weighted image. Computed tomography showed typical punctate and linear calcifications within the mass. The mass was resected via a lateral approach resulting in marked improvement of the symptoms. Histological examination revealed birefringent rhomboid crystals consistent with CPPD. CPPD deposition should be considered in the differential diagnosis of retro-odontoid extradural mass because surgical therapy is beneficial even for elderly patients. (+info)