Anterior osteotomy for rigid cervical deformity correction
Rigid deformities of the cervical spine can be associated with significant pain, disability, and impaired quality of life. Historical treatments generally utilized posterior approaches including the opening wedge osteotomy and pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO). Translation can occur during osteoclasis of the opening wedge osteotomy, making it inherently less stable than a PSO. The PSO is limited to lower cervical or upper thoracic levels due to the vertebral artery and sensitivity of cervical nerve roots to compression during osteotomy closure. The anterior osteotomy, defined as an osteotomy through the cervical disc space and uncovertebral joints back to the level of the transverse foramen bilaterally, is a powerful correction technique that can be applied throughout the cervical spine. It can also be used to correct deformities in the coronal plane. This review will summarize the technical nuances of the anterior osteotomy including patient selection, preoperative planning, and surgical technique.