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Cervical Instrumentation and Fusion in Children Under 10 Years Old Objective

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Cervical Instrumentation and Fusion in Children Under 10 Years Old

Objective:

To assess the postoperative results of cervical instrumented fusion in children under 10 years old, description of the surgical technique and complications.

Introduction:

The pediatric cervical spine implants and construction designs had rapidly evolved in the last decade. Anatomic and biomechanical differences between pediatric and adult cervical spine required a thorough preoperative planning because this implants were originally designed for adults.

Methods:

Retrospective descriptive study. Level of Evidence: IV. We evaluated 28 children with different cervical pathology treated with instrumented fusion. We performed Roy- Camille’s technique and Magerl’s technique for lateral masses and Goel-Harms’ for C1- C2 fusion, and occipital-cervical fusion with occipital plates or screws. Inclusion criteria were: children under 10 years, cervical spine deformity or instability, no prior history of spine surgery, minimum follow-up of 2 years.

Results:

We reported 17 girls and 11 boys with a mean age of 6yr 1mo (1yr 6mo to 10yr). Mean follow-up was 3yr 8mo (2yr to 10yr). The overall complications rate was 32.1%. The highest complication rates were associated to: genetic syndrome, 6 cases (21.4%);

skeletal dysplasia, 3 cases (10.7%). Thirteen patients were younger than 6 years, 7 of them had complications (53.8%).

Conclusion:

Cervical instrumented fusion in patients younger than 10 years old proved to be a feasible and safe surgical procedure. Vertebral dysplasia, congenital, syndromic anomalies, and being younger than 6 years old are the main factors associated with high complication rates.

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