July 23, 2015
1 min read

Posterior cervical fusion associated with low reoperation rate

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According to results in a recently published study, patients who underwent posterior cervical fusion were observed to have low reoperation rates, similar to the historical reoperation rates for anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.

Researchers conducted the first-ever study to determine conversion to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) following posterior cervical fusion (PCF). A total of 178 patients who underwent a PCF were analyzed retrospectively, including nine patients (5%) who underwent an ACDF revision operation at the index level for reasons ranging from cervical radiculopathy, disc herniation, cervical spondylosis and foraminal stenosis. Average follow-up was 31.7 months.

Patients who underwent subsequent conversion to ACDF were more likely to take anxiolytic or an antidepressant medication, have lower BMI and be younger in age compared with those who did not undergo revision.

The difference in postoperative complication rates between revision and non-revision patients was not statistically significant, the researchers noted. About 11% of patients who were converted to ACDF developed a complication vs. 4% of non-revision patients.

The researchers concluded PCF has a small risk for reoperation, similar to ACDF, and stated that surgeons can use the posterior approach during surgery without putting patients at risk for a revision. – by Robert Linnehan

Disclosure: Wang reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full study for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.