Fatal instability following "odontoid sparing" transoral decompression of a periodontoid pseudotumour
Pseudotumour of the craniovertebral junction is an uncommon cause of high cervical myelopathy in the elderly. The anterior transoral approach is the preferred means of accessing these lesions. An "odontoid sparing" transoral approach, in which there is only minimal bone removal, is thought to preserve stability of the craniovertebral junction, obviating the need for posterior stabilisation. This report is of an 82 year old man who developed fatal atlanto-axial instability following an odontoid sparing transoral resection of a pseudotumour. This complication has not previously been described and its occurrence has important implications for the surgical management of this condition.