Atlantoaxial fusion by transarticular screw fixation provides firm fixation, and good results have been reported. However, there are also problems, such as injury of the vertebral artery at the time of screw insertion. For accurate facet fusion, we developed a new hole-in-one guide for screw fixation and obtained good results with its use. In 60 adult subjects, we measured the antero-posterior and transverse axes and determined the center of the atlantoaxial surface and the insertion point of the screw in three dimensions on computed tomography scans. Based on these values, we measured the optimum screw insertion angle on sagittal and coronal planes, and the distance between the center and the posterior margin of the joint surface; our new hole-in-one guide was produced with these data. When the guide tip is determined to be located at the center posterior margin of the axial joint surface, and the guidewire insertion point is determined to be located at the center of the axial inferior facet immediately above the C2/3 joint, the guidewire is passed through the axial pedicle and the center of the atlantoaxial joint. Since April 1997, we have used this hole-in-one guide technique in eight patients with atlantoaxial instability. The screws passed the pars interarticularis and the center of the atlantoaxial joint in all patients with safety and accuracy. No complications associated with this technique occurred.
- Atlantoaxial instability
- Surgical technique
- Transarticular screw fixation
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