To describe a novel reconstruction strategy using a T-shaped titanium mesh cage with posterior cervical screw-rod fixation after total spondylectomy of axis tumors. Instability of the upper cervical spine because of tumors in axis (C2) often results in devastating complications. Surgical resection and reconstruction after spondylectomy of C2 remain a technical challenge because of the intricate anatomies, vital adjacent tissues, and the unique spinal biomechanics in this special region.

The novel reconstruction mode included the construction of the anterior aspect conducted with a specially made titanium mesh cage and the posterior cervical fixation only. Patients who received total C2 tumors spondylectomy and reconstruction with this novel mode in our center between January 2009 and December 2017 were retrospectively analyzed to evaluate the efficacy of this novel reconstruction method.

A total of 24 patients with C2 tumor received total spondylectomy and the new mode of local reconstruction. The neurological deficits recovered well and local pain relieved significantly (P<0.001) during the mean follow-up time of 22 months. Perioperative complications were rare and controllable. No internal fixation failure occurred. The mobility of the occipital-cervical junction was largely preserved in all patients.

This novel reconstruction mode using an anterior “T-shaped” mesh cage with posterior screw-rod fixation provides satisfactory stability and motion of occipital-cervical junction with limited complications, and therefore may prove to be an ideal option for management of C2 tumors.