Current Issue - May-June 2016 - Vol 19 Issue 4


  1. 2016;19;E625-E629Fluoroscopically Guided C2 Percutaneous Vertebroplasty: A Surgical Technique Note on an Anterior Ascending Approach
    Technical Report
    Kuo-Wei Wang, MD, MSc, Hao-Kuang Wang, MD, PhD, Kang Lu, MD, PhD, Cheng-Loong Liang, MD, PhD, Ya-Wen Chen, RN, MSN, and Po-Chou Liliang, MD.

BACKGROUND: C2 vertebroplasty is more challenging than transpedicular percutaneous vertebroplasty in the thoracic and lumbar spine.

OBJECTIVE: We report an anterior ascending approach for C2 percutaneous vertebroplasty to avoid potential injury to vital structures surrounding the C2 vertebra.

STUDY DESIGN: A technique note with 5 consecutive cases.

SETTING: Neurosurgery department of a university hospital.

METHODS: Fluoroscopically guided manual compression was applied using 3 fingers at the C5 level between the muscle and trachea. The larynx and trachea were displaced medially and the carotid artery laterally. The anterior cervical spine was palpated, and a 15-gauge 4-inch bone marrow biopsy needle was introduced through an anterior ascending approach. When the tip touched the intervertebral disc between C2 and C3, the needle was pushed through the disc until it penetrated into the C2 vertebral body. After confirming adequate needle insertion, vertebroplasty was performed.

RESULTS: Pain relief was achieved in 4/5 (80%) patients. One patient possibly did not benefit from percutaneous vertebroplasty, and asymptomatic cement extravasation was detected in 2 patients.

LIMITATIONS: Sample size; impossibility of placebo control.

CONCLUSION: An anterior ascending approach for C2 percutaneous vertebroplasty is a valuable alternative for relieving pain caused by metastatic spinal tumors. This approach is familiar to surgeons performing anterior cervical discectomies, percutaneous nucleoplasty, or odontoid screw placement surgeries.

Key words: Vertebroplasty, pain, axis, cement leak, metastases, palliative medicine, spine, fracture