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A Technique of Posterior Cervical Fusion for Instability of the Cervical Spine

DAVEY, J R, MD*; RORABECK, C H, MD, FRCS(C)*; BAILEY, S I, MD, FRCS(C); BOURNE, R B, MD, FRCS(C)*; DEWAR, F P, MD, FRCS(C)

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A technique of posterior cervical spine fusion (the “Dewar procedure”) that allows immediate stabilization of the spine requiring only minimal external support is described. The procedure was performed in 16 patients with unstable fractures or fracture-dislocations of the cervical spine. All patients went on to develop solid fusion. Twelve patients incurred neurologic deficit due to their injury, and those with root involvement all recovered following fusion. Patients rendered quadriplegic as a result of their accident did not show any useful neurologic recovery but were able to start rehabilitation earlier and avoid the complications of nonoperative treatment. There were no significant complications related to surgery.

*From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospital, London, Ontario

†From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Victoria Hospital, London, Ontario

‡Collingwood, Ontario

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.