4-Point C2 Fixation for Occipitocervical Fusion: Technical Case Report

John K. Houten, Merritt D. Kinon, Gila R. Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Occipitocervical fusion is an important surgical procedure to treat instability of the upper cervical and craniocervical junction. Fixation to the dense cortical bone of the occiput, contemporaneously typically accomplished with a plate and screws, is known to be strong and durable, but there are many competing methods used to secure an adequate number of fixation points of sufficient strength at the cervical end. Extension of hardware to the midcervical region to acquire additional fixation points, however, results in loss of subaxial motion segments and additional potential morbidity. The C2 vertebra is unique in that its morphology and dimensions permit fixation with longer screws than are typically possible to place in the midcervical lateral masses. Translaminar and pars screw techniques, both commonly used to achieve C2 fixation, are not mutually exclusive, as their respective trajectories are considerably different and engage different portions of the bony anatomy. Methods: We describe a novel, 4-point C2 fixation technique for OC fusion that may avoid the need to extend fusion to the subaxial spine. Results: This technical note illustrates how 4-point C2 fixation can be employed in occiptocervical fusion. Conclusions: 4-point fixation of C2 combining translaminar and pars screw placement is technically feasible and may be a suitable strategy to spare subaxial motion segments in OC fusion procedures. Futher investigation may establish its applicability to additional surgical procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Atlantoaxial subluxation
  • Axis
  • Cervical fusion
  • OC fusion
  • Occipitocervical fusion
  • Translaminar screw

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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