Retropharyngeal Reduction Plate for Treatment of Irreducible Atlantoaxial Dislocation: A Cadaveric Test and Finite Element Analysis
Background: Clinical studies have shown that irreducible atlantoaxial dislocation (IAAD) can achieve reduction, decompression, fixation and fusion by transoral, posterior, and other traditional approaches. The present study aims to introduced a newly designed reduction plate through the retropharyngeal approach and evaluate its feasibility by cadaveric test and finite element analysis.Methods: A cadaveric specimen and a 45-year-old postoperative female patient diagnosed with IAAD who underwent
... IAAD who underwent the traditional posterior fixation were enrolled in this scientific study. The retropharyngeal approach involved placing the reduction plate into a cadaveric specimen's cervical spine. Spiral CT thinly scanning (0.05 mm) from the base of the occipital bone to C7 vertebrae was performed and reconstructed for three-dimensional (3D) finite element analysis using Mimics software based on the Dicom data of two different fixations. Biomechanical distribution was compared between two fixations under different stress conditions, including flexion, extension, bending and rotation, respectively.Results: There was no significant difference in maximum stress between the retropharyngeal reduction plate system and the posterior atlantoaxial pedicle screw fixation system during flexion. Under states of extension, bending and rotation, the maximum stress of the reduction plate system was significantly lower than that of the posterior atlantoaxial pedicle screw fixation system. Both of the maximum stresses between two fixations were far lower than the maximum yield strength (795-827 MPa) and ultimate strength (860-896 MPa) of the titanium alloys. There was no significantly stress concentration between retropharyngeal reduction plate system and the posterior atlantoaxial pedicle screw fixation system under different movement.Conclusions: The cadaveric test showed that it is feasible to place the reduction plate using the retropharyngeal approach. The finite element analysis indicated that the retropharyngeal reduction plate system may provide relatively reliable fixation compared with traditional posterior fixation. A new choice of designing a surgical plan for treating atlantoaxial dislocation is presented.