Fusion of cervical spinal vertebrae with one or more fixation devices can be accomplished with the described tools and methods. For example, a guidewire introducer can include a tubular introducer cannula and a handle. The handle can be angularly offset from the introducer cannula such that positioning of the introducer on the cervical spine does not interfere with a patient's head. A sheath assembly can include inner and outer sheath bodies and a handle. The handle is angularly offset from the sheath bodies such that the sheath assembly can be applied to the cervical spine without interference to the patient's head. The sheath body can be curved or straight. Various tools such as drills, tapping devices, compression tools, and pin release tools can be applied to the cervical spine through the sheath body to apply the fixation device. The tools can include elongate flexible shafts.
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