Occipitocervical and Upper Cervical Metastatic Spinal Disease

  • Jared Fridley
  • Adetokunbo Oyelese
  • Ziya L. GokaslanEmail author


Patients with metastatic spinal disease of the occipitocervical junction and upper cervical spine can often present a treatment challenge to the practitioner. This is due to the unique bony anatomy of C1 and C2, complicated surrounding neurovascular anatomy, and unique regional spinal biomechanics. By incorporating information obtained from history and physical examination, assessment of overall medical condition, and imaging findings, the practitioner can help formulate a personalized treatment plan that reduces the risk of patient harm and maximizes potential benefit. This requires a multimodality treatment team approach with medical oncology, radiation oncology, and spine surgery all providing essential input in consultation with the patient. We provide an overview of the treatment strategy for patients that harbor tumors of this complicated spinal region.


Craniocervical junction Atlantoaxial instability Metastatic spine tumor Spinal reconstruction 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jared Fridley
    • 1
  • Adetokunbo Oyelese
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ziya L. Gokaslan
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryThe Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurosurgeryRhode Island HospitalProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurosurgeryRhode Island Hospital and The Miriam HospitalProvidenceUSA

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