Occipital Fixation in Children

  • Paramedian techniques not recommended: Older paramedian techniques may be difficult because of the thin (1–2 mm) bone in the lateral occiput of many children.
Occipital keel.: Demonstration of the midline occipital keel used for screw placement.
  • Midline occipital fixation:Modern midline occipital keel techniques help alleviate this problem. After exposing the occiput, an appropriately sized plate is selected. The wings can be bent to fit the occipital contour. The occipital holes are then drilled using drill guards, and a tap is used to prepare the bone for the screw. Two or three full-thickness screws are placed.
A typical occipital plate: The plate has been secured to the midline using two screws through the full thickness of the bone. Clamps have been used to secure the construct to the laminae of C2 because the C2 pedicles were deemed too narrow for screw placement.