Occipitopexy as a Fusionless Solution for Dropped Head Syndrome: A Case Report

JBJS Case Connect. 2021 Aug 16;11(3). doi: 10.2106/JBJS.CC.21.00049.


Case: A 68-year-old woman suffered from an irradiation-induced dropped head syndrome (DHS). Fusion surgery was vehemently rejected by the patient. A new surgical method, avoiding fusion, was invented and performed to treat her DHS. This novel surgical technique of "occipitopexy"-a ligamentous fixation of the occiput to the upper thoracic spine-is described in detail. One year postoperatively, the patient was very satisfied, able to maintain a horizontal gaze, and rotate her head 20° to each side.

Conclusion: This is the first report describing "occipitopexy" as an alternative to cervicothoracic fusion for patients with flexible DHS.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Head
  • Humans
  • Muscle Weakness* / surgery
  • Muscular Diseases*
  • Spine