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Indexed/Abstracted in: e-psyche, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Neuroscience Citation Index, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Cigliano A., De Falco R., Scarano E., Profeta G.
Neurosurgical Division of Emergency Department, Cardarelli Hospital, Naples, Italy
Background. Twenty-six patients underwent application of a new posterior plating system (CIDEF SYSTEM) for the alignment and the stabilization of C3-C7 cervical unstable fractures from January 1992 to December 1993.
Methods. The osteosynthesis apparatus employs posterior articular screw fixation and plate application. Indications for surgery were the presence of neurological damage and cervical column instability. Operative techniques included decompressive and exploratory laminectomy in 20 cases and an articular resection in six cases of posterior superior articular fractures. A one-stage operation with an anterior approach, designed to remove anterior compression from herniated discs, or bone fragments, was also performed in four cases. Three cervical motion segments were immobilized in 15 of the treated cases; four in nine; and five in two. All patients were studied pre- and postoperatively with plain radiographs and computed tomography. Pre- and postoperative examinations demostrated no alteration in neurological status.
Results. At a mean follow-up period of 47 months, no evidence was found of infection, rejection of the materials used, or mechanical failure of the plates and screws; all patients with incomplete lesion showed improvement in neurological function. Four patients tetraplegic at admission expired from systemic complications (one from pulmonary embolism; one from Disseminated Intravascular Coagulopathy; one for sepsis; and one from myocardial infarction). All patients were immobilized for at least 4 months with a Philadelphia collar. No injury to the neural or vascular structures contiguous to the cervical spine has occurred.
Conclusions. The authors’ experience suggests that the new system offers ease and versatility of application, restoration of vertebral alignment, enhanced spinal stability and is useful in the treatment of urgent and rather complex traumatic lesions of the lower cervical spine.