Complications Related to Posterior Approach

  • Luca DenaroEmail author
  • Domenico D'Avella
  • Vincenzo Denaro

The posterior approach through a midline longitudinal incision provides the most direct access to the posterior elements of the cervical spine. Through this approach, the posterior elements of the cervical spine can be removed, and access to the posterior aspect of the spinal cord and nerve roots from the occiput to C7 can be obtained. The posterior approach to the cervical spine allows excellent exposure to perform several surgical techniques, with or without internal fixation. It can also be a useful rostral extension of a longer posterior thoracic spinal approach [1].

The posterior elements of the cervical spine play an important role in the stabilization of the cervical spine. Indeed, their removal in patients undergoing wide laminectomies (i.e., for the management of pathologies such as the spondylotic myelopathy, or extra- or intra-medullary tumors) may cause subluxation, or severe kyphotic angulation of the spine (i.e., swan neck), causing increased compression of the neural elements and worsening of neurological defi-cits [1].


Cervical Spine Vertebral Artery Fibrin Glue Posterior Approach Posterior Element 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luca Denaro
    • 1
    Email author
  • Domenico D'Avella
    • 1
  • Vincenzo Denaro
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeuroscienceUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma SurgeryCampus Bio-Medico UniversityRomeItaly

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