Treatment of Axis Body Fractures: A Systematic Review.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

STUDY DESIGN: Evidence based systematic review. OBJECTIVE: To define the optimal treatment of fractures involving the C2 body, including those with concomitant injuries, based upon a systematic review of the literature. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Axis body fractures have customarily been treated non-operatively, but there are some injuries that may require operative intervention. High quality literature is sparse and there are few class I or class II studies to guide treatment decisions. METHODS: A literature search was conducted using PubMed (MEDLINE), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Scopus (EMBASE, MEDLINE, COMPENDEX). The quality of literature was rated according to a grading tool developed by the Center for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM). Operative and non-operative treatment of axis body fractures were compared using fracture bony union as the primary outcome measure. As risk factors for nonunion were not consistently reported, cases were analyzed individually. RESULTS: The literature search identified 62 studies, of which 10 were case reports which were excluded from the analysis. A total of 920 patients from 52 studies were included. The overall bony union rate for all axis body fractures was 91%. While the majority of fractures were treated non-operatively, there has been an increasing trend toward operative intervention for Benzel type III (transverse) axis body fractures. Nearly 76% of axis body fractures were classified as type III fractures, of which 88% united successfully. Nearly all Benzel type I and type II axis body fractures were successfully treated non-operatively. The risk factors for nonunion included: a higher degree of subluxation, fracture displacement, comminution, concurrent injuries, delay in treatment, and older age. CONCLUSION: High rates for fracture union are reported in the literature for axis body fractures with nonoperative treatment. High quality prospective studies are required to develop consensus as to which C2 body fractures require operative fixation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kepler, CK; Vaccaro, AR; Fleischman, AN; Traynelis, VC; Patel, A; Dekutoski, MB; Harrop, J; Wood, KB; Schroeder, GD; Bransford, R; Aarabi, B; Okonkwo, DO; Arnold, PM; Fehlings, MG; Nassr, A; Shaffrey, C; Yoon, ST; Kwon, B

Published Date

  • July 14, 2016

Published In

PubMed ID

  • 26165730

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2380-0194

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/BSD.0000000000000309


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States