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A Modified Ventral Fixation for Surgical Management of Atlantoaxial Subluxation in 19 Dogs

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Abstract:

Objective

To describe a modified ventral stabilization technique for surgical management of atlantoaxial subluxation in dogs and to evaluate the outcome. Study Design

Retrospective clinical study. Sample Population

Nineteen client-owned dogs. Methods

Medical records of 19 dogs with a radiographic diagnosis of atlantoaxial subluxation surgically managed by a modified ventral fixation technique (cortical screws, Kirschner wires, polymethylmethacrylate) were reviewed. Data on pre- and post-operative neurologic status, surgical technique, and complications were retrieved. Follow-up evaluation was performed at approximately 1 month. Telephone interview of the owner was used for long-term assessment (median follow-up for 17 surviving dogs was 10.5 months). Results

Adequate reduction and stabilization was achieved in all dogs based on radiographic assessment immediately after surgery. Improved neurologic outcome occurred in 16 dogs at 1 month and in 15 dogs at follow-up; 2 dogs died of post-operative complications within 24 hours of surgery. One dog was euthanatized at the owners' request because of recurrent neck pain associated with implant failure after 1 month. Two dogs required surgery to remove broken and migrated implants, but further stabilization was not necessary. Conclusions

Adequate stabilization and improved neurologic outcome was achieved in most dogs. However, on account of the small size of the study and the variable neurologic signs of the dogs on admission, the surgical technique described could not be compared to those previously reported. Clinical Relevance

The surgical technique described is an effective means of surgical treatment for atlantoaxial subluxation.

Keywords: atlanto-axial subluxation; dogs; neck pain; ventral fixation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-950X.2004.04050.x

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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