Surgical treatment of neck hyperextension in myopathies

Sandro Giannini, Francesco Ceccarelli, Cesare Faldini, Stavroula Pagkrati, Luciano Merlini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neck hyperextension occurs in relation to several myopathies. It is a progressive increase of lordosis associated with a limitation in flexion of the cervical spine, forcing the patient to assume awkward compensatory postures to maintain balance and level vision. We evaluated operative complications, degree of correction, achievement of a solid arthrodesis, maintenance of the correction, and clinical assessment of seven patients. All had surgery in which the interspinous processes between C2-C7 were opened in a posterior approach and bone graft wedges driven into them to maintain the correction. The mean age of patients at the time of surgical intervention was 16.5 years (range, 10-28 years). The average followup was 10.4 years (range, 2.4-16.5 years). No major surgical complications occurred. After surgery, the average angle between C2-C7 in neutral position had decreased from 50.7° (range, 40°-70°) to 21.4° (range, 2°-50°). The range of motion in the C1-C2 joint remained unaffected, whereas it decreased in C2-C7 from 33.5° (range, 15°-64°) to 1.8° (range, 0°-8°). A solid arthrodesis was achieved in all patients The followup showed significant clinical improvement of posture in all patients. The operating technique used proved to be safe and effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-156
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
Issue number434
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery


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