Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria
Print version ISSN 0004-282X
LANDEIRO, José Alberto et al. Transoral approach to the craniovertebral junction. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 2007, vol.65, n.4b, pp. 1166-1171. ISSN 0004-282X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0004-282X2007000700014.
The transoral approach provides a safe exposure to lesions in the midline and the ventral side of the craniovertebral junction. The advantages of the transoral approach are 1) the impinging bony pathology and granulation tissue are accessible only via the ventral route; 2) the head is placed in the extended position, thus decreasing the angulation of the brainstem during the surgery; and 3) surgery is done through the avascular median pharyngeal raphe and clivus. We analyzed the clinical effects of odontoidectomy after treating 38 patients with basilar invagination. The anterior transoral operation to treat irreducible ventral compression in patients with basilar invagination was performed in 38 patients. The patients ages ranged from 34 to 67 years. Fourteen patients had associated Chiari malformation and eight had previously undergone posterior decompressive surgery. The main indication for surgery was significant neurological deterioration. Symptoms and signs included neck pain, myelopathy, lower cranial nerve dysfunction, nystagmus and gait disturbance. Extended exposure was performed in 24 patients. The surgery was beneficial to the majority of patients. There was one death within 10 days of surgery, due to pulmonary embolism. Postoperative complications included two cases of pneumonia, three cases of oronasal fistula with regurgitation and one cerebrospinal fluid leak. In patients with marked ventral compression, the transoral approach provides direct access to the anterior face of the craniovertebral junction and effective means for odontoidectomy.
Keywords : basilar invagination; odontoidectomy; transoral approach.