Study Design. A retrospective study.
Objective. To investigate the morphology of the cervical spine in patients with athetoid cerebral palsy (CP), and to evaluate its relationship with the breach of cervical pedicle screws.
Summary of Background Data. Cervical pedicle screws have been increasingly used in surgery for patients with CP, but screw misplacement is not uncommon. Although the altered morphology of the cervical spine in patients with CP may result in this high breach rate, few studies have examined the cervical pedicle profile.
Methods. We retrospectively analyzed 31 patients with cervical myelopathy with CP, as well as 30 patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM), who underwent posterior decompression surgery. The pedicle outer diameter, inner diameter, transverse angle and lateral mass deformity were investigated by obtaining preoperative computed tomographic scans. The accuracy of the placement of 56 pedicle screws used in fusion surgery for 12 patients with CP was also analyzed using postoperative computed tomographic scans.
Results. The outer diameter of the pedicle in CP was in the range from 3.3 to 9.6 mm, and was larger than that in CSM at all cervical levels except for C7. Pedicle sclerosis was more frequently observed in CP than in CSM (23% vs. 7.3%, P < 0.001). The transverse angle at C3 and C4 was larger, and lateral mass deformity was more frequently observed in CP than in CSM. The critical breach of pedicle screws in CP was found in 29%. A multivariate analysis revealed that pedicle sclerosis was associated with an increased risk of breach (odds ratio: 6.3; 95% confidence interval: 1.03–39.0; P = 0.047).
Conclusion. The pedicle diameter in patients with CP was relatively large, but pedicle sclerosis, a wide transverse angle and lateral mass deformity were frequently observed. Sclerotic pedicles were associated with a higher risk of critical breach.
Level of Evidence: N/A