Posterior Fusion for the Subaxial Cervical Spine: A Review of the Major Techniques

Abstract

Posterior fusion is a powerful tool to address pathology of the cervical spine, but the decision to fuse at any level should be made with great care. Various methods and constructs for posterior cervical fusion exist, all of which aim to restore the posterior tension band’s ability to resist flexion forces. We identified articles regarding posterior fusion of the subaxial cervical spine in MEDLINE, Google Scholar, and PubMed. This article is a narrative review of earlier and current concepts regarding the posterior fusion of the subaxial cervical spine, including wiring, translaminar screws, lateral mass screws, and pedicle screws, weighing the strengths and weakness of the different modalities that the surgeon should bear in mind in creating operative plans individualized to patient pathology.

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Correspondence to Christopher M. Mikhail MD.

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Christopher M. Mikhail, MD; James E. Dowdell III, MD; and Andrew C. Hecht, MD, declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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The authors of this study did not obtain IRB approval as it does not involve human or animal subjects. Therefore, the study poses no potential risk to individuals and contains no identifiable information. The current study is a review of current concepts on the current literature regarding posterior cervical spinal surgery.

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Mikhail, C.M., Dowdell, J.E. & Hecht, A.C. Posterior Fusion for the Subaxial Cervical Spine: A Review of the Major Techniques. HSS Jrnl 16, 188–194 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11420-019-09722-x

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Keywords

  • cervical spine
  • spinal fusion
  • cervical myelopathy
  • surgical techniques