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This article is the author’s final published version in Radiology Case Reports, Volume 17, Issue 12, September 2022, Pages 4594 - 4598.

The published version is available at Copyright © De Abreu Pineda et al.


We report the case of a 62-year-old man who presented with a progressive myelopathy secondary to spinal cord compression from an odontoid process fracture and subaxial central canal stenosis. The patient underwent a C1-T2 posterior decompression and instrumented fusion (PCDF) and did well immediately postoperatively. However, on POD1, he developed a right hypoglossal nerve (HN) palsy attributed to direct mechanical compression or injury from the C1 lateral mass screw (LMS), which improved following a revision and screw replacement. While HN injury is a known complication of high anterior and anterolateral cervical spine approaches as well as transcondylar screw fixation, this case aims to expand on the limited reports available regarding hypoglossal nerve injury following placement of bicortical C1 LMS. Furthermore, the use of fluoroscopic guidance in addition to anatomic landmarks and triggered electromyography of the tongue are offered as potential solutions to prevent HN injury intraoperatively.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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