Management of acute odontoid fractures with single anterior screw fixation

Sai Cheung Lee, Jyi Feng Chen, Shih Tseng Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

19 Scopus citations


The use of anterior odontoid screw fixation has grown in popularity for the management of acute, unstable Anderson and d'Alonzo Type II and rostral Type III odontoid fractures. This study critically reviews our clinical experience of 48 patients with single odontoid screw fixation for the treatment of Type II and Type III odontoid fractures between 1997 and 2001. This series had a complication rate of 10% (malposition rate 6% and non-union rate 4%), with a satisfactory overall fusion rate of 96%. Odontoid screw fixation is technically demanding and requires strict patient selection, thorough preoperative planning and careful surgical technique. In our experience, advanced age should not be considered a contraindication to anterior odontoid screw fixation, as satisfactory results can be obtained in some of these patients. This study also emphasises that sagittally oblique type II fractures are associated with a high rate of fusion failure when treated by anterior odontoid screw fixation, and should be treated with other instrumentation methods, such as posterior atlantoaxial arthrodesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)890-895
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number8
StatePublished - 11 2004


  • atlantoaxial arthrodesis
  • odontoid fracture
  • odontoid screw fixation


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