Percutaneous tracheostomy in patients with cervical spine fractures - Feasible and safe

Alon Ben Nun*, Michael Orlovsky, Lael Anson Best

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study is to evaluate the short and long-term results of percutaneous tracheostomy in patients with documented cervical spine fracture. Between June 2000 and September 2005, 38 consecutive percutaneous tracheostomy procedures were performed on multi-trauma patients with cervical spine fracture. Modified Griggs technique was employed at the bedside in the general intensive care department. Staff thoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists performed all procedures. Demographics, anatomical conditions, presence of co-morbidities and complication rates were recorded. The average operative time was 10 min (6-15). Two patients had minor complications. One patients had minor bleeding (50 cc) and one had mild cellulitis. Nine patients had severe paraparesis or paraplegia prior to the PCT procedure and 29 were without neurological damage. There was no PCT related neurological deterioration. Twenty-eight patients were discharged from the hospital, 21 were decannulated. The average follow-up period was 18 months (1-48). There was no delayed, procedure related, complication. These results demonstrate that percutaneous tracheostomy is feasible and safe in patients with cervical spine fracture with minimal short and long-term morbidity. We believe that percutaneous tracheostomy is the procedure of choice for patients with cervical spine fracture who need prolonged ventilatory support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-429
Number of pages3
JournalInteractive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Fracture cervical spine
  • Tracheostomy percutaneous


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