This issue of Acta Neurochirururgica presents the latest surgical and experimental approaches to the craniovertebral junction (CVJ). It discusses anterior midline (transoral transnasal), posterior (CVJ craniectomy laminectomy, laminotomy, instrumentation and fusion), posterolateral (far lateral) and anterolateral (extreme lateral) approaches using state-of-the-art supporting tools. It especially highlights open surgery, microsurgical techniques, neuronavigation, the O-arm system, intraoperative MR, neuromonitoring and endoscopy.
Endoscopy represents a useful complement to the standard microsurgical approach to the anterior CVJ: it can be used transnasally, transorally and transcervically; and it provides information for better decompression without the need for soft palate splitting, hard palate resection, or extended maxillotomy. While neuronavigation allows improved orientation in the surgical field, intraoperative fluoroscopy helps to recognize residual compression. Under normal anatomic conditions, there are virtually no surgical limitations to endoscopically assisted CVJ and this issue provides valuable information for the new generation of surgeons involved in this complex and challenging field of neurosurgery.
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