Objective: To report a surgical technique that allows decompression and anatomic re-alignment for management of subluxation of the atlantoaxial articulation.
Study Design: Clinical report.
Animals: Four-year-old Welsh Section B pony gelding.
Methods: Attempts at closed reduction of subluxation of the atlantoaxial articulation under general anesthesia were unsuccessful, so a ventral surgical approach allowing partial ostectomy of the dens of the axis was used to facilitate reduction.
Result: Recovery from surgery was uneventful and the pony remained comfortable without neurologic deficits. Both neck stiffness and ataxia resolved. Radiographic examination at 5 days and 6 months postoperatively showed normal anatomic position of the dens of the axis and stabilization of the atlantoaxial joint.
Conclusion: Partial ostectomy of the dens using a ventral approach can be used to facilitate reduction of atlantoaxial subluxation.