European Spine Journal

, Volume 16, Issue 12, pp 2078–2082 | Cite as

Osteoid osteoma of the cervical spine: surgical treatment or percutaneous radiofrequency coagulation?

  • M. Laus
  • U. Albisinni
  • C. Alfonso
  • F. A. Zappoli
Original Article


Osteoid osteoma (OO) of the cervical spine is frequently located close to the vertebral artery, spinal cord, or nerve roots and complete surgical excision is sometimes difficult by a limited approach and more extended surgery can require spinal fusion. Percutaneous radiofrequency coagulation (PRC) has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of OO of the pelvis and limbs however, its role in the cervical spine is still nuclear. The Authors present a series of nine cases of OO of the cervical spine, six treated with surgical excision and three with PRC. No neurological or vascular complications occurred in both series. One case of the surgical series had only partial relief of persistent pain for 1 year due to incomplete excision, but is doing well 4 years after surgery. All the other surgical cases had complete relief of symptoms immediately after surgery and are symptom-free 3–10 years later. Two cases of PRC had complete relief of symptoms 24–48 h after surgery and are symptom-free 2 and 3 years later. One case of recurrent OO after surgery and treated with PRC with a reduced dose improved only, and still requires anti-inflammatory drugs 2 years after the procedure. Our still limited experience suggests that PRC can be safely performed in local anaesthesia with the patient awake, enabling to check for signs and symptoms of possible neurological injury. PRC can substitute extensive posterior approaches and reconstructions for OO of the posterior arch and joint pillar.


Osteoid osteoma Cervical spine Percutaneous radiofrequency coagulation Bone tumors Cervical spine fusion 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Laus
    • 1
  • U. Albisinni
    • 2
  • C. Alfonso
    • 1
  • F. A. Zappoli
    • 1
  1. 1.Orthopaedics e Traumatology, Department for Special Surgery and AnesthesiologyS. Orsola-Malpighi HospitalBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Radiology DepartmentRizzoli Orthopaedic InstituteBolognaItaly

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