Occipitocervical and Upper Cervical Metastatic Spinal Disease
Patients with metastatic spinal disease of the occipitocervical junction and upper cervical spine can often present a treatment challenge to the practitioner. This is due to the unique bony anatomy of C1 and C2, complicated surrounding neurovascular anatomy, and unique regional spinal biomechanics. By incorporating information obtained from history and physical examination, assessment of overall medical condition, and imaging findings, the practitioner can help formulate a personalized treatment plan that reduces the risk of patient harm and maximizes potential benefit. This requires a multimodality treatment team approach with medical oncology, radiation oncology, and spine surgery all providing essential input in consultation with the patient. We provide an overview of the treatment strategy for patients that harbor tumors of this complicated spinal region.
KeywordsCraniocervical junction Atlantoaxial instability Metastatic spine tumor Spinal reconstruction
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