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April 1968

Anterior Interbody Fusion: In the Treatment of Cervical Fracture Dislocation

Author Affiliations

Iowa City
From the Division of Neurosurgery, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City.

Arch Surg. 1968;96(4):530-539. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1968.01330220046009

FRACTURE dislocation of the cervical spine with or without involvement of the spinal cord or the cervical nerve roots or both continues to present a difficult therapeutic problem. The use of skeletal traction followed by a plaster jacket or a neck brace, open fixation, posterior fusion, or decompressive laminectomy followed by fusion and immobilization in a plaster jacket entails a long period of immobilization and hospitalization. The value of any treatment over another has been difficult to assess in terms of neurological recovery, and, indeed, indications for operation have been controversial and the salvage rate has not been great.

Acute unprotected flexion or extension of the cervical spine can occur from automobile accidents, blocking in football, diving in a shallow pool, a fall, or a simple slap on the back. As a result of such injury the ligaments, muscles, nerves, and other soft tissue structures may be stretched, crushed, or

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