Screw placement accuracy and outcomes following o-Arm-navigated atlantoaxial fusion:a feasibility study

Jacob D. Smith, Megan M. Jack, Nicholas R. Harn, Judson R. Bertsch, Paul M. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Design Case series of seven patients Objective C2 stabilization can be challenging due to the complex anatomy of the upper cervical vertebrae.We describe seven cases of C1-C2 fusion using intraoperative navigation to aid in the screw placement at the atlantoaxial (C1-C2) junction. Methods Between 2011 and 2014, seven patients underwent posterior atlantoaxial fusion using intraoperative frameless stereotactic O-Arm Surgical Imaging and Stealth-Station Surgical Navigation System (Medtronic, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States). Outcome measures included screw accuracy, neurologic status, radiation dosing, and surgical complications.Results Four patients had fusion at C1-C2 only, and in the remaining three, fixation extended down to C3 due to anatomical considerations for screw placement recognized on intraoperative imaging. Out of 30 screws placed, all demonstrated minimal divergence from desired placement in either C1 lateral mass, C2 pedicle, or C3 lateral mass.No neurovascular compromise was seen following the use of intraoperative guided screw placement. The average radiation dosing due to intraoperative imaging was 39.0 mGy. All patients were followed for a minimum of 12 months. All patients went on to solid fusion. Conclusion C1-C2 fusion using computed tomography-guided navigation is a safe and effective way to treat atlantoaxial instability. Intraoperative neuronavigation allows for high accuracy of screw placement, limits complications by sparing injury to the critical structures in the upper cervical spine, and can help surgeonsmake intraoperative decisions regarding complex pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-349
Number of pages6
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Atlantoaxial
  • Instrumentation
  • Intraoperative imaging
  • Neuronavigation
  • O-Arm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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