Fracture of the odontoid of the axis is a common injury in the cervical spine. Its treatment remains quite challenging because of the associated risk owing to the complex anatomy of the craniocervical junction. The conservative treatment includes cervical orthoses, halo vests, and jackets, which may allow for the fracture to fuse without the need for surgical intervention. However, these methods are poorly tolerated in the elderly and the multiple injured patients. Odontoid process fractures are classified into three types depending on the location of the fracture line. Various treatment options are available for each of these fracture types, such as a direct anterior screw placement.
Though there are several forms of treatments, the benefit of the anterior screw fixation is immediate stabilization, which is ideal to make sure the bone begins healing as quickly as possible. It’s also the easiest and least invasive procedure available to treat a fractured odontoid. The procedure itself has a very high success rate, and is recommended over non surgical and conservative treatments.
An incision is made in the front of the neck, and the muscles are moved out of the way. Then the screw is placed through the odontoid fracture in order to pull the two pieces together. This is done so that the two pieces of bone will fuse together, closing the fracture and healing correctly. You will be monitored closely for neurological and respiratory changes in the recovery room after the procedure is complete, then transferred to the ward. Almost all patients are discharged within the first few days of surgery.