Occipital cervical stabilization using occipital condyles for cranial fixation: technical case report

Neurosurgery. 2009 Dec;65(6):E1216-7; discussion E1217. doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000349207.98394.FA.


Objective: Presentation of a successful case of craniocervical stabilization involving a novel surgical technique using the occipital condyles as the sole cranial fixation points.

Clinical presentation: A 22-year-old man presented in a delayed fashion with neck pain after a motor vehicle accident. Evaluation revealed a type 2 odontoid fracture with pseudarthrosis and displacement of the dens superiorly and cranial settling of the dens.

Intervention: The patient underwent posterior occipitocervical fixation with a polyaxial screw rod construct using the occipital condyle, C1 lateral mass, and C2 pars articularis for fixation. The patient had no immediate postoperative deficits. At the time of the 12-month follow-up examination, the patient was neurologically intact with a solid occipitocervical fusion.

Conclusion: Craniocervical stabilization using occipital condyle screws as the sole cephalad fixation points is a feasible option and can be used safely without neurovascular complication in the treatment of craniocervical instability.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Internal Fixators*
  • Male
  • Neck Pain / complications
  • Neck Pain / surgery*
  • Odontoid Process / surgery*
  • Postoperative Care
  • Spinal Fractures / complications
  • Spinal Fractures / surgery*
  • Spinal Fusion / methods*
  • Young Adult