ORIGINAL ARTICLES: PDF OnlyStanley D.; Laing, R. J.; Forster, D. M.C.; Getty, C. J.M.Journal of Spinal Disorders: October 1994 - p 439-443 Buy Abstract Summary Forty-seven patients with rheumatoid disease of the cervical spine were followed over an 8-year period. Twenty-one patients with isolated atlantoaxial subluxation and four with combined atlantoaxial and subaxial disease had their atlantoaxial instability treated by posterior decompression and fusion. The incidence of surgical mortality was 8%, and clinical improvement was noted in 75%. There was no neurological deterioration in those patients who survived long term. We have found posterior decompression and fusion to be a satisfactory procedure for the treatment of atlantooccipital subluxation. In our experience, anterior decompression has not been found necessary for successful treatment of atlantoaxial subluxation in patients with rheumatoid cervical spine disease. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.