Study Design. Cadaveric biomechanical study.
Objective. To quantify spinal motion created by transfer methods from supine to prone position in a cadaveric C1–C2 global instability model.
Summary of Background Data. Patients who have sustained a spinal cord injury remain at high risk for further secondary injury until their spine is adequately stabilized. To date, no study has evaluated the effect of patient transfer methods from supine to prone position in the operating room, on atlantoaxial cervical spine motion.
Methods. A global instability was surgically created at the C1–C2 level in 4 fresh cadavers. Two transfer protocols were tested on each cadaver. The log-roll technique entailed performing a standard 180° log-roll rotation of the supine patient from a stretcher to the prone position onto the operating room Jackson table (OSI, Union City, CA). The “Jackson technique” involved sliding the supine patient to the Jackson table, securing them to the table, and then rotating them into a prone position. An electromagnetic tracking device registered motion between the C1 and C2 vertebral segments. Three different head holding devices (Mayfield, Prone view, and blue foam pillow) were also compared for their ability to restrict C1–C2 motion. Six motion parameters were tracked. Repeated measures statistical analysis was performed to evaluate angular and translational motion.
Results. For 6 of 6 measures of angulation and translation, manual log-roll prone positioning generated significantly more C1–C2 motion than the Jackson table turning technique. Out of 6 motion parameters, 5 were statistically significant (P < 0.001–0.005). There was minimal difference in C1–C2 motion generated when comparing all 3 head holding devices.
Conclusion. The data demonstrate that manual log-roll technique generated significantly more C1–C2 motion compared to the Jackson table technique. Choice of headrest has a minimal effect on the amount of motion generated during patient transfer, except that the Mayfield device demonstrates a slight trend toward increased C1–C2 motion.