Anatomic and biomechanical assessment of transarticular screw fixation for atlantoaxial instability

Peter B. Hanson, Pasquale X. Montesano, Neil A. Sharkey, Wolfgang Rauschning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to elucidate anatomically the atlantoaxial transarticular screw fixation described by Magerl in 1979 and compare it biomechanically with Gallie wiring. Five human C1-C2 specimens were tested in flexion/extension and rotation intact, then after wiring and screw fixation. Mean screw length was 39 mm, 25 mm in the C2 lamina and 14 mm in the lateral mass. Angular displacement of screwed specimens was significantly less than control or wired groups. Stiffness at 0-0.5 Nm loads was significantly greater for screwed specimens than for wired or controls (101 ± 49 Nm, 10.3 ± 9.2 Nm, and 1.96 ± 0.18 Nm, respectively). All specimens withstood 5 Nm in flexion and extension without failure. Screw fixation provides stability comparable to Gallie wiring and is stiffer at low-range forces and rotational angles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1141-1145
Number of pages5
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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