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.
De Abreu Pineda, Maria; Atallah, Elias; Wainwright, John; Schaefer, Joseph; Mahtabfar, Aria; Harrop, James S; Prasad, Srinivas; Pelta-Heller, Joshua; Sharan, Ashwini; Sivaganesan, Ahilan; and Jallo, Jack, "Hypoglossal Nerve Injury With C1 Lateral Mass Screw Placement: A Case Report and Review of the Literature" (2022). Department of Neurosurgery Faculty Papers. Paper 193.
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