At the present time, an update to the classical microsurgical transoral decompression is supported by the most recent literature dealing with the introduction of the endoscopy in spine surgery. In this paper, we present all the reported experience on the surgical approaches to anterior cranioveretebral junction (CVJ) compressive pathology managed by endoscopy. Surgical strategies dealing with decompressive procedures by using an open access, microsurgical technique, neuronavigation and endoscopy are summarized.Endoscopy represents a useful complement to the standard microsurgical approach to the anterior CVJ. Endoscopy can be used via transnasal, transoral and transcervical routes; it facilitates visualisation and better decompression without the need for soft palate splitting, hard palate resection, or extended maxillotomy. Although neuronavigation enhances orientation within the surgical field, intraoperative fluoroscopy helps to recognize residual compression.Under normal anatomical conditions, there appear to be no surgical limitations for the endoscopically assisted transoral approach compared with the pure endonasal and transcervical endoscopic approaches.The endoscope has a clear role as "support" to the standard transoral microsurgical approach since 30° angulated endoscopy increases the surgical area exposed over the posterior pharyngeal wall and the extent of the clivus.
- cranio cervical junction