Surgical treatment of dens fractures in elderly patients

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume
Patrick PlatzerChristian Gaebler

Abstract

A dens fracture is the most common cervical fracture in elderly patients. The purposes of this study were to analyze the functional and radiographic results after surgical treatment of dens fractures in patients over sixty-five years of age and to compare the two methods that were used for operative treatment. We reviewed the cases of fifty-six patients, with an average age of 71.4 years at the time of surgery, who had undergone surgical treatment of a dens fracture from 1988 to 2002. Thirty-seven fractures were stabilized with anterior screw fixation, and nineteen fractures had posterior cervical arthrodesis. Forty-five patients returned to their preinjury activity level and were satisfied with their treatment. Thirty-five patients had a full range of neck movement, and forty-seven patients were free of pain. Technical failures occurred in eight patients. The thirty-seven patients treated with anterior screw fixation had a good clinical outcome, with fracture-healing in thirty-three patients (89%) and technical failure in five patients (14%). All nineteen patients treated with posterior cervical arthrodesis had fracture union, with technical failure in three patients, but the functional results were worse than those after ante...Continue Reading

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Citations

Aug 29, 2009·European Spine Journal : Official Publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society·Heiko KollerWolfgang Hitzl
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