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Neurophysiological Assessment of Thoracic and Cervical Pedicle Screw Integrity

Holland, Neil R.*,†,‡

Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology: December 2012 - Volume 29 - Issue 6 - p 489–492
doi: 10.1097/WNP.0b013e318276805b
Invited Review

Summary: Transpedicular instrumentation of the thoracic and cervical spine is technically more difficult than at lumbar levels because of narrower pedicles and less sensitive intraoperative fluoroscopic assessment. Furthermore, the potential implications of a misplaced screw are greater because of the close proximity of the spinal cord and vertebral artery. Real-time confirmation of correct pedicle screw placement in the operating room is therefore considered even more important, and this article reviews the availability, utility, and limitations of electrophysiologic testing techniques that can be used for this purpose.

*Neurology Specialists of Monmouth County, West Long Branch, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Neuroscience Institute, Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Department of Neurology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, U.S.A.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Neil R. Holland, MB,BS, Neurology Specialists of Monmouth County, West Long Branch, New Jersey, U.S.A.; e-mail:

Copyright © 2012 American Clinical Neurophysiology Society