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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 328-331

Occipitocervical fusion – An epidemiological drift experienced in an Irish tertiary spinal referral center: Twenty-year follow-up study

Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nadim Tarazi
Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, UK

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_98_17

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Background: Occipitocervical disease is common in the elderly population, and is on the rise due to an increasingly aging population. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all patients who underwent occipitocervical fusion in our institution over a 20 year period (1996-2016) at a tertiary spinal referral centre. Patients were divided in 2 groups. Group A included all patient who underwent OCF in the first decade between 1996 and 2005. Group B was all patients who underwent OCF in the second decade between 2006 and 2016. Results: A total of 23 patients underwent occipitocervical fusion between 1996 until 2016 at our institution. Instability secondary to Rheumatoid arthritis was the leading factor in group A, responsible for 43 percent of cases. In group B, trauma was the leading burden accounting for 44 percent of the cases. In contrast to Group A however, only 19 % of OCFs occurred secondary to RA in group B. Our fusion rate was 96 percent with a survival rate of 67 percent. Conclusion: We noticed a clear epidemiological drift in the cervical spine pathologies requiring OCF during the first and second decade of study period with an increase in prevalence of pathological fractures secondary to metastatic disease. In addition, a drop in rheumatoid cervical disease requiring OCF has been noted.

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