Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 153, Issue 8, pp 1695–1699 | Cite as

How I do it: cervical lateral mass screw fixation

  • Enrico TessitoreEmail author
  • Yassine El-Hassani
  • Karl Schaller
How I Do it



Cervical lateral mass screw fixation is indicated for the treatment of cervical subaxial C3-C7 lesions associated with instability.


The authors first describe the surgical anatomy of the subaxial cervical posterior approach. Then the Magerl technique is detailed. In particular, tricks to avoid complications are presented. The ideal screw entry point, direction, size and exit point are mentioned. A surgical video, artist’s drawings and a radiological case report are included.


The Magerl technique is a safe and effective lateral mass fixation technique. Respecting anatomical landmarks is crucial to avoid nerve root, vertebral artery and facet joint injury.


Cervical instability Lateral mass Screw placement Magerl technique 


Conflicts of interest


Supplementary material


(WMV 5700 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrico Tessitore
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yassine El-Hassani
    • 1
  • Karl Schaller
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurosurgical Unit, Faculty of MedicineGeneva University Medical CenterGeneva 14Switzerland

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