[Inveterate subaxial cervical dislocations: a discussion on the best therapeutic strategy]

Rev Esp Cir Ortop Traumatol. Nov-Dec 2013;57(6):446-9. doi: 10.1016/j.recot.2013.08.004. Epub 2013 Oct 12.
[Article in Spanish]


It is difficult to decide the appropriate treatment for inveterate cervical dislocations because of the difficulty of their reduction, as well as due to the risk of inducing iatrogenic injuries during this reduction. The literature on the most appropriate surgical strategy for their management is also limited as well as controversial. We report one clinical case treated in the Spine Unit of the Orthopedic Surgery and Trauma Service of the University Hospital of Santiago de Compostela, discussing the currently most used treatment options, the anterior-posterior-anterior and the posterior-anterior-posterior approach. After analyzing the results, it could be concluded that the surgical approach to these lesions is generally difficult, with any of two techniques described above being suitable, but always with the precaution to remove the entire affected intervertebral disc before axial correction maneuvers, thus avoiding the risk of extrusion into the medullary canal. After the surgical procedure, a proper release and reduction of the joint facets should be performed, sometimes with the need to add osteotomies in them.

Keywords: Cervical subaxial dislocation; Inveterada; Inveterate; Luxación subaxial cervical; Reduction technique; Técnica de reducción.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Axis, Cervical Vertebra / injuries*
  • Axis, Cervical Vertebra / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Joint Dislocations / surgery*
  • Male
  • Young Adult