Variations in management of A3 and A4 cervical spine fractures as designated by the AO Spine Subaxial Injury Classification System

Barry Sheen Kweh, Ting and Wee Tee, Jin and Sander, Muijs and Cumhur Oner, F. and Klaus John, Schnake and Lorin Michael, Benneker and Emiliano Neves, Vialle and Frank, Kanziora and Shanmuganathan, Rajasekaran and Gregory, Schroeder and Alexander R., Vaccaro and Mohamad Zaki, Mohd Amin (2022) Variations in management of A3 and A4 cervical spine fractures as designated by the AO Spine Subaxial Injury Classification System. Journal of Neurosurgery, 36 (1). pp. 99-112. ISSN 1547-5654

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE Optimal management of A3 and A4 cervical spine fractures, as defined by the AO Spine Subaxial Injury Classification System, remains controversial. The objectives of this study were to determine whether significant management variations exist with respect to 1) fracture location across the upper, middle, and lower subaxial cervical spine and 2) geographic region, experience, or specialty. METHODS A survey was internationally distributed to 272 AO Spine members across six geographic regions (North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East). Participants’ management of A3 and A4 subaxial cervical fractures across cervical regions was assessed in four clinical scenarios. Key characteristics considered in the vignettes included degree of neurological deficit, pain severity, cervical spine stability, presence of comorbidities, and fitness for surgery. Respondents were also directly asked about their preferences for operative management and misalignment acceptance across the subaxial cervical spine. RESULTS In total, 155 (57.0%) participants completed the survey. Pooled analysis demonstrated that surgeons were more likely to offer operative intervention for both A3 (p < 0.001) and A4 (p < 0.001) fractures located at the cervicothoracic junction compared with fractures at the upper or middle subaxial cervical regions. There were no significant variations in management for junctional incomplete (p = 0.116) or complete (p = 0.342) burst fractures between geographic regions. Surgeons with more than 10 years of experience were more likely to operatively manage A3 (p < 0.001) and A4 (p < 0.001) fractures than their younger counterparts. Neurosurgeons were more likely to offer surgical stabilization of A3 (p < 0.001) and A4 (p < 0.001) fractures than their orthopedic colleagues. Clinicians from both specialties agreed regarding their preference for fixation of lower junctional A3 (p = 0.866) and A4 (p = 0.368) fractures. Overall, surgical fixation was recommended more often for A4 than A3 fractures in all four scenarios (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS The subaxial cervical spine should not be considered a single unified entity. Both A3 and A4 fracture subtypes were more likely to be surgically managed at the cervicothoracic junction than the upper or middle subaxial cervical regions. The authors also determined that treatment strategies for A3 and A4 subaxial cervical spine fractures.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: burst; fracture; junctional; subaxial cervical spine; variation; trauma.
Subjects: R Medicine > RD Surgery
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Depositing User: Gani
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2022 02:22
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2022 02:22
URI: http://ir.unimas.my/id/eprint/38852

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