Occipitopexy as a Fusionless Solution for Dropped Head Syndrome: A Case Report : JBJS Case Connector

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Occipitopexy as a Fusionless Solution for Dropped Head Syndrome

A Case Report

Farshad, Mazda MD, MPH; Burkhard, Marco D. MD; Spirig, José M. MD

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JBJS Case Connector 11(3):e21.00049, July-September 2021. | DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.CC.21.00049



A 68-year-old woman suffered from an irradiation-induced dropped head syndrome (DHS). Fusion surgery was vehemently rejected by the patient. A new surgical method, avoiding fusion, was invented and performed to treat her DHS. This novel surgical technique of “occipitopexy”—a ligamentous fixation of the occiput to the upper thoracic spine—is described in detail. One year postoperatively, the patient was very satisfied, able to maintain a horizontal gaze, and rotate her head 20° to each side.


This is the first report describing “occipitopexy” as an alternative to cervicothoracic fusion for patients with flexible DHS.

Copyright © 2021 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated

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