The use of Grauer classification in the management of type II odontoid fracture in elderly: Prognostic factors and outcome analysis in a single centre patient series

J Clin Neurosci. 2021 Jul:89:26-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2021.04.015. Epub 2021 Apr 29.


Objective: To evaluate the results of Type II odontoid fractures management in the elderly, according to the Grauer classification.

Methods: Consecutive patients with type II odontoid fracture, age > 65 years and follow-up longer than 3 months were included. Fracture management was proposed according to Grauer classification. Peri-surgical risk factors, NDI, VAS and rate of fusion were evaluated according to the treatment modality and compared between conservative and surgical groups.

Results: Thirty-four patients were considered eligible for the study; 2 patients showed a Type IIa fracture, 30 patients a type IIb, and 2 patients a type IIc. Type IIa patients underwent conservative treatment that resulted in failure. A conservative management was adopted in 9 cases with type IIb due to patient preference or anaesthesiologic reasons with a treatment success at 6 months of 11%. Trans-odontoid stabilization was adopted in 21 type IIb cases with an evidence of bony or fibrous union at 6 months of 95% and a median NDI of 20%. A posterior approach was reserved for 2 type IIc fracture patients and in 6 cases as rescue surgery (bony union at 6 months of 100%; median NDI 37%). Higher Lakshmanan grade, gap and displacement of the fracture were found as significant risk factor for fracture non-union (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: The surgical group presented better clinical and radiological outcome and the anterior approach proved to achieve the best results in type IIb fractures. The presence of osteoporosis and fracture spatial features should be duly considered in the decision-making process.

Keywords: C1-C2 arthrodesis; Conservative management; Elderly patient; Grauer classification; Odontoid fracture; Transodontoid screw.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Conservative Treatment / methods
  • Disease Management*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Odontoid Process / diagnostic imaging
  • Odontoid Process / injuries*
  • Odontoid Process / surgery*
  • Patient Outcome Assessment*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Spinal Fractures / classification*
  • Spinal Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Fractures / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome