Translaminar screw fixation in the upper thoracic spine.


Journal Article

OBJECT: The use of pedicle screws (PSs) for instrument-assisted fusion in the cervical and thoracic spine has increased in recent years, allowing smaller constructs with improved biomechanical stability and repositioning possibilities. In the smaller pedicles of the upper thoracic spine, the placement of PSs can be challenging and may increase the risk of damage to neural structures. As an alternative to PSs, translaminar screws can provide spinal stability, and they may be used when pedicular anatomy precludes successful placement of PSs. The authors describe the technique of translaminar screw placement in the T-1 and T-2 vertebrae. METHODS: Seven patients underwent cervicothoracic fusion to treat trauma, neoplasm, or degenerative disease. Nineteen translaminar screws were placed, 13 at T-1 and six at T-2. A single asymptomatic T-2 screw violated the ventral laminar cortex and was removed. The mean clinical and radiographic follow up exceeded 14 months, at which time there were no cases of screw pullout, screw fracture, or progressive kyphotic deformity. CONCLUSIONS: Rigid fixation with translaminar screws offers an attractive alternative to PS fixation, allowing the creation of sound spinal constructs and minimizing potential neurological morbidity. Their use requires intact posterior elements, and care should be taken to avoid violation of the ventral laminar wall.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Kretzer, RM; Sciubba, DM; Bagley, CA; Wolinsky, J-P; Gokaslan, ZL; Garonzik, IM

Published Date

  • December 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 5 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 527 - 533

PubMed ID

  • 17176017

Pubmed Central ID

  • 17176017

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1547-5646

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1547-5654

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3171/spi.2006.5.6.527


  • eng