Stabilization of the Spine

  • H. A. Crockard
  • A. O. Ransford
Part of the Advances and Technical Standards in Neurosurgery book series (NEUROSURGERY, volume 17)


The theme of this chapter is the prevention of spinal instability and deformity secondary to trauma, surgery and diseases of the spine. The treatment of established scoliosis and/or kyphosis is not within its remit. The bony and ligamentous damage consequent on trauma can produce deformity in later years. It comes as a shock to some clinicians that wide surgical destruction of the supportive elements of the vertebral column will also have the same effect. In part, this attitude has been engendered by the short survival prospects of many malignant “spinal” patients. A sequential approach has been adopted on the grounds that if the patient survived long enough, secondary corrective surgery might be considered. The problems of course are complex; maximum exposure for neurosurgery will mean almost certain spinal instability and/or deformity. Despite improved surgical awareness, there are far too many occasions when a simple laminectomy in an adult is undertaken in such a way that the pars interarticularis is knowingly or unknowingly fractured with the consequential risk of segmental instability. A more devasting error is widespread excisive laminectomy for spinal tumour in the immature skeleton without any consideration of the effects of the bony destruction on longitudinal spinal growth.


Vertebral Body Pedicle Screw Disc Height Posterior Longitudinal Ligament Craniocervical Junction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. A. Crockard
    • 1
  • A. O. Ransford
    • 1
  1. 1.The National Hospitals for Nervous DiseasesThe Royal National Orthopaedic HospitalLondonUK

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