J Korean Neurosurg Soc.  2007 Feb;41(2):141-144.

Posterior Atlantoaxial Fixation with a Combination of Pedicle Screws and a Laminar Screw in the Axis for a Unilateral High-riding Vertebral Artery

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Gimpo Airport Wooridul Spine Hospital, Seoul, Korea. spinejjs@wooridul.co.kr


A vertebral artery (VA) injury presents a difficult problem in atlantoaxial fixation. Recent technical reports described posterior C2 fixation using bilateral, crossing C2 laminar screws. The translaminar screw technique has the advantages of producing little risk of VA injury and the unconstrained screw placement. In addition, biomechanical studies have demonstrated the potential of the translaminar screw technique to provide a firmer construct that is equivalent to methods currently used. We report the successful treatment of C1-2 instability with a left-side high-riding VA. Because of the potential risk of VA injury, we performed a posterior C1-2 fixation with a combination of pedicle screws and a laminar screw in C2. We first placed bilateral C1 lateral mass screws and a right-side C2 pedicle screw. However, placement of the left- side C2 pedicle screw was technically difficult due to a narrow isthmus and pedicle. A laminar screw was inserted instead and authors believe that this posterior C1-C2 fixation with a combination of pedicle screws and a laminar screw in C2 can be a useful alternative technique for the treatment of C1-C2 instability in the presence of a unilateral high-riding VA.


Atlantoaxial fixation; C2 laminar screw; High-riding vertebral artery

MeSH Terms

Axis, Cervical Vertebra*
Vertebral Artery*
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