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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 115-119

Surgical management of metastatic lesions at the cervicothoracic junction

Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland

Correspondence Address:
Joseph F Baker
Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, Galway University Hospital, Galway
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-8237.161592

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Purpose: The cervicothoracic junction (CTJ) represents a transition from the semirigid thoracic spine to the mobile subaxial cervical spine. Pathologic lesions are prone to kyphotic deformity. The aim of this study was to review our experience with surgical stabilization of metastatic lesions affecting the CTJ (C7-T2). Materials and Methods: We reviewed all surgical stabilizations of metastatic spine lesions over the preceding 4 years in our institution. A total of 14 patients with CTJ lesions were identified. Case notes and radiology were reviewed to determine the presentation, outcomes, and specific complications. Results: The mean survival was 405 days (standard deviation [s.d.] 352). 8/14 died at a mean time from surgery of 193 days (s.d. 306). Most cases were a result of either lung or breast primary tumors. Half were stabilized with an anterior only approach and two had staged anterior-posterior. There were no cases of neurologic deterioration in this cohort as a result of surgery. There were two cases of deep surgical site infection and two documented cases of pulmonary embolus. There were no reported construct failures over the follow-up period. Conclusion: Patients with cervicothoracic metastatic lesions can be treated with either anterior or posterior approaches or a combination after considering each individual's potential instability and disease burden.

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