Follow-up for Cervical Spine Anomalies in Children

Frequency of Office Visits

  • 1 and 2 months postoperatively: Office visits are needed 1 and 2 months postoperatively to confirm good healing of the bone graft.

Frequency of Imaging

  • 1 month:  A plain x-ray is taken to confirm hardware integrity and check fusion status.
  • 2 months:  A plain x-ray usually documents fusion in cases of anterior interbody arthrodeses and occasionally with posterior C1-2 fusions.

Lateral plain x-ray of patient with Morquio syndrome: This x-ray was taken 2 months after surgery and documents appropriate placement of the hardware without breakage.
 

 

  • 4 months: For posterior occipitocervical fusions using instrumentation, a thin-cut CT scan with two-dimensional reconstruction is necessary to see and document fusion status. 

Other Investigations Required

  • No standard requirements: In general, unless further imaging is necessary to work up other elements of a patient’s condition (e.g., a brain MRI in NF1 or cardiac/renal studies in Klippel-Feil syndrome), no other investigations are typically required.