Study finds no superior surgical intervention for pure cervical radiculopathy
A systematic review of clinical and safety outcomes found no superior surgical intervention for pure cervical radiculopathy without myelopathy, according to published results.
Researchers from the department of neurosurgery at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands identified 21 randomized controlled trials (1,567 patients) to investigate the effectiveness of anterior and posterior surgical approaches for the treatment of pure cervical radiculopathy without myelopathy.
Outcome measures included success rates using rating scales such as the Odom criteria or percentage of patients who improved, complications, reoperations, work status, neck disability index and arm and neck pain, according to the study.
“For all outcomes, among all surgical techniques, only one pooled estimate showed a signicant effect on success rate, which was in favor of anterior cervical discectomy with fusion compared with anterior cervical discectomy without an intervertebral spacer,” the researchers wrote in the study.
No surgical intervention demonstrated superior results in clinical or safety outcomes, with the exception of higher complication rates in patients who received autologous bone grafts.
“For years, there has been controversy regarding the best surgical treatment for cervical radiculopathy,” the researchers wrote. “Future research should elaborate on the other factors in order to elucidate the preferred surgical treatment. To begin with, more studies should focus on the cost-effectiveness of the procedures,” they concluded.