360° fixation with modern instrumentations of segment separation cervical spine injury in a 23-month-old

Published online: Dec 30 2016

Viktor Zs. KOVARI, Janos VAJDA, Robert VERES

From the department of Neurosurgery, Hungarian Defense Forces Medical Centre


In this case report clinical and technical lessons including seven years follow up learned from a flexion-distraction, highly unstable cervical spine injury causing a complete separation of C6-7 cervical segment with tetraparesis in a 23-month-old boy, are presented. To our knowledge this is the only documented case in medical literature where adult size implants (cage, plate and lateral mass screwrod system) were utilized for cervical combined anterior and posterior internal fixation in a child under the age of two years without implant-size related problems. Seven years after the injury the child attends elementary school, can operate a wheelchair manually, and can eat and write. Computed tomography control showed no failure of the hardware and fusion was later observed in the intervertebral space of the stabilized cervical segment, however adjacent segment syndrome occurred without deterioration of the patient’s status. The decision on the mode of realignment and fixation to be made in such a case was difficult because there is no standard procedure for infants.