NYMC Faculty Publications

Cervical Fusion for Adult Patients With Atlantoaxial Rotatory Subluxation

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Faculty, Resident/Fellow

Journal Title

Journal of Spine Surgery

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BACKGROUND: Atlantoaxial rotatory subluxation (AARS) is a rare injury of the C1/C2 junction. It is often associated with trauma in adults. Treatment may depend on the duration of symptoms and clinical presentation, but there is no consensus regarding the ideal management of these injuries. Our objective is to ascertain the prevalence of neurological deficit, complications, and outcomes of patients diagnosed with AARS undergoing cervical fusion (CF) versus those treated without CF. METHODS: The 2016-2019 National Inpatient Sample (NIS) was queried using International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10) for adult patients with C1/C2 subluxation. Patients undergoing CF were defined through ICD-10 procedure codes. Baseline health and acute illness severity was calculated using the 11-point modified frailty index (mFI-11). Presenting characteristics, treatment complications, and outcomes were evaluated of CF non-CF patients. RESULTS: Of 990 adult patients with AARS, 720 were treated without CF and 270 were treated with CF. CF patients were more often myelopathic. Patients that had undergone CF treatment were negatively associated with having had extensive trauma. Patients undergoing CF experienced significantly longer length of stay (LOS), increased healthcare resource utilization, and decreased inpatient mortality. Sepsis had a negative association with patients that underwent CF treatment while pneumonia had a positive association. CONCLUSIONS: Adult patients undergoing CF for AARS demonstrated an increase in healthcare resource utilization but also a significant decrease in mortality. Extent of acute injury appears to have a strong influence on decision making for CF. Further study of decision making for treatment of this rare injury in adults is warranted.