This study aimed to determine the morbidity and mortality following surgical treatment of odontoid fractures in the elderly and to evaluate whether there were any factors that were associated with increased risk of morbidity or mortality. The most common major complications occur at a mean rate less than 10%, but mortality following surgical treatment occurs in approximately 10% of patients. There was no difference found between anterior and posterior surgery regarding mortality or airway complication rates. There was however, a higher rate of site-specific complications following anterior compared with posterior surgery. Clinical outcomes were better in the patients treated with posterior fusion. Given the current level of evidence available in the literature, future research evaluating complications is very likely to have an important impact on the results.
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