Odontoid fractures account for 5% to 15% of all cervical spine injuries and 1% to 2% of all spine fractures. Type II fractures are the most common fracture pattern in elderly patients. Treatment (rigid and non-rigid immobilization, anterior screw fixation of the odontoid and posterior C1-C2 fusion) remains controversial and represents a unique challenge for the treating surgeon. The aims of treatment in the elderly is to quickly restore pre-injury function while decreasing morbidity and mortality associated with inactivity, immobilization with rigid collar and prolonged hospitalization. Conservative treatment of type II odontoid fractures is associated with relatively high rates of non-union and in a few cases delayed instability. Options for treatment of symptomatic non-unions include surgical fixation or prolonged rigid immobilization. In this report we present the case of a 73-year-old woman with post-traumatic odontoid nonunion successfully treated with Teriparatide systemic anabolic therapy. Complete fusion and resolution of the symptoms was achieved 12 wk after the onset of the treatment. Several animal and clinical studies have confirmed the potential role of Teriparatide in enhancing fracture healing. Our case suggests that Teriparatide may have a role in improving fusion rates of C2 fractures in elderly patients.
- Anabolic therapy
- Fracture healing
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Type II odontoid fractures