Novel Intraoperative Technique to Visualize the Lower Cervic
Visualization of the lower cervical spine with a lateral radiograph poses a challenge secondary to encroachment of the shoulders. Applying traction to the arms or taping the shoulders down provides adequate visualization in most patients, but imaging the mid- to lower cervical levels presents a significant challenge in patients with stout necks. We present a variation of the lateral radiograph that is 30º oblique from horizontal and 30º cephalad from neutral and used in a series of patients with stout necks that require anterior instrumentation of the lower cervical spine. We reviewed intraoperative images of 2 patients who underwent anterior cervical spine surgery at our institution, and assessed type of procedure, body mass index, and outcome scores. Our variation provided improved visualization relative to a lateral view and was used intraoperatively to confirm correct-level hardware placement in both patients...