Intraoperative imaging and navigation for C1-C2 posterior fusion

Ran Harel*, Maya Nulman, Nachshon Knoller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cervical axial spine fusion is challenging as the anatomy is extremely variable, and screw misplacement can lead to severe complications. C1 lateral mass screws and C2 pedicle screws are routinely placed under either fluoroscopic guidance or imaging-assisted navigation. Here, we compared the two for axial screw placement. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated patients’ treated from 2011–2016 utilizing the Harm’s procedure for C1-C2 screw fixation performed under either fluoroscopic guidance (nine patients) or image-assisted O-arm navigation (five patients). The groups had similar demographic and risk factors. Variables studied included operative time, estimated blood loss (EBL), accuracy of screw placement, screw reposition rates, and reoperation rates. Results: The mean EBL was 555CC and 260CC, respectively (not a significant difference) utilizing fluoroscopic versus O-arm navigation. Of interest, the mean surgical duration was 27 min longer in the O-arm versus fluoroscopy group (P = 0.03). Ten C2 pedicle screws were performed using O-arm navigation. Alternatively, as 9 of 18 C2 pedicles were considered “risky” for the placement of fluoroscopic-guided pedicle screws, laminar screws were utilized. Although the accuracy rate of C1 and C2 screw placement was higher for the navigated group, this finding was not significant. Similarly, despite complications involving two unacceptably placed screws from the fluoroscopic guidance group, there were no neurological sequelae. Conclusion: Axial cervical spine instrumentation is challenging. Utilization of Imaging-assisted navigation increases the accuracy and safety of screw placement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number149
JournalSurgical Neurology International
StatePublished - 2019


  • Axial spine
  • Intraoperative imaging
  • Posterior cervical approach
  • Spine instability
  • Spine navigation


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