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Transoral approach using a tubular retractor system in the treatment of atlantoaxial Pott’s disease: a novel method of surgical decompression


The use of tubular retractors in minimally invasive spine surgery has been described extensively in the literature. However, there are only select reports discussing their use specifically in a transoral approach for upper cervical pathologies such as an epidural abscess and a dystrophic os odontoideum.

We report the first use of a transtubular transoral approach in a rare case of an adult presenting with severe neck pain with progressing neurologic signs secondary to atlantoaxial Pott’s disease. Debridement and partial odontoidectomy performed using this approach allowed less trauma to surrounding soft tissues without sacrificing an excellent visualisation of the operative field. A halo vest was applied to provide temporary stability. The patient transitioned out of his halo vest after 6 months while completing medical therapy after a year without need for further intervention. The transtubular transoral approach is a suitable alternative to the conventional approach in patients with atlantoaxial Pott’s disease.

  • orthopaedics
  • bone and joint infections
  • neurosurgery

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