Article

The Effect of ACDF or Arthroplasty on Cervicogenic Headaches: A Post Hoc Analysis of a Prospective, Multicenter Study With 10-Year Follow-up

Authors:
  • The Orthopedic Center of St. Louis
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Abstract

Study design: This was a post hoc analysis of a prospective FDA-IDE study. Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of a 2-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) or cervical disk arthroplasty (CDA) at relieving headaches associated with cervical radiculopathy or myelopathy at 10 years postoperative. Background: To our knowledge, there is no large, prospective study that has examined the efficacy of cervical spine surgery for relieving headaches associated with radiculopathy or myelopathy at 10 years postoperative. Materials and methods: This was a post hoc analysis of a prospective FDA-IDE study for the Prestige LP versus ACDF for radiculopathy or myelopathy due to 2 levels. Preoperatively and out to 10 years, their Neck Disability Index documented if they had headaches (0: no headaches; 1: infrequent slight; 2: infrequent moderate; 3: frequent moderate; 4: frequent severe; 5: nearly constant). Results: Three hundred ninety-seven patients were randomized to CDA (209) or ACDF (188). Preoperatively 86% had headaches and 55.9% (52.2% of CDA, 60.1% of ACDFs) had frequent moderate, severe, or nearly constant headache (grades 3-5). By 6 weeks postoperative, 64.4% had headaches and only 12.5% had grades 3-5 headaches (9.3% of CDA and 16% of ACDFs). The benefit lasted to the 10-year follow-up such that 60.3% had any headaches and 16.8% had grades 3-5 headaches (10.9% CDA; 24.3% ACDF). Conclusions: These results suggest that 86% of patients with radiculopathy or myelopathy complain of headaches preoperatively, with 55.9% having frequent or constant, moderate to severe headaches (grades 3-5). By 6 weeks postoperative, only 12.5% had grades 3-5 headaches. At 10-year follow-up, 16.8% had grades 3-5 headaches. Both arthroplasty and ACDF are often effective at alleviating headaches associated with radiculopathy or myelopathy.

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... [30] Lombardi JM et al. did a post hoc analysis of single prospective, multicenter, randomized US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) study with the aim of determining the effectiveness of a 2-level ACDF or Cervical disk arthroplasty (CDA) in relieving CEH at 10 years. [31] At 10 year follow-up only 16.8% of patients had severe headache as compared to 88.5% in the preoperative period reflecting that arthroplasty and ACDF are often effective at alleviating such CEHs. Similarly, Yabuki S et al. reported 31% incidence of CEH in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) in their study, and 43% of patients with CSM reported that headache disappeared following decompression surgery proposed that such headaches might be associated with a neuropathic pain mechanism. ...
Article
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Article
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Background Cervicogenic headache (CEH) has long been recognized as a referred pain deriving from pathological changes in the upper cervical nerves. However, previous clinical studies found that anterior lower cervical discectomy for the treatment of cervical myelopathy and/or radiculopathy can also help relieve associated headaches. To date, there is still a lack of large sample and prospective study to investigate the effect of anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF) on CEH associated with cervical spondylosis. Methods A total of 656 patients with cervical radiculopathy and/or myelopathy were enrolled in three spinal centers. Among them, 221 patients who were diagnosed with CEH were collected in this study, and 204 completed a 1-year follow-up. The primary endpoint was headache intensity during a 12-month follow-up period measured by the numeric pain rating scale (NPRS). The secondary outcome measures included headache frequency, headache duration, and the neck disability index (NDI). Results Among all 204 patients with CEH who completed a 1-year follow-up, 166 received anterior cervical surgery (surgery group) and 38 received conservative treatment (conservative group). There were statistically significant lower NPRS in the surgical group during follow-up. Between-group differences showed that NPRS in the surgery group was significantly greater improvement at 1 month (2.8, 95% CI: 2.0, 3.6), 3 months (2.6, 95% CI: 1.8, 3.4), 6 months (2.4, 95% CI: 1.6, 3.2), and 12 months (1.5, 95% CI: 0.7, 2.4) ( p < 0.05 for all). There were statistically significant lower NDI, less frequent headaches, and lower headache duration in the surgery group during follow-up ( p < 0.05 for all). Conclusion This study indicates that ACDF can effectively relieve CEH associated with cervical myelopathy and/or radiculopathy.
Article
Background Atypical symptoms of cervical spondylosis refer to symptoms other than the typical symptoms of cervical spondylosis and include headache, nausea, gastrointestinal discomfort, blurred vision, tinnitus, hypomnesia and palpitations. The role of cervical decompression in mitigating atypical symptoms of cervical spondylosis is still unclear. Methods A comprehensive search of different databases was performed to retrieve articles which studied the effect of cervical decompression on atypical symptoms associated. The data was analysed to get pooled improvement in the various atypical symptoms following cervical decompression. Results Twenty-seven studies were included in the meta-analysis. Our analysis revealed that cervical decompression was associated with significant improvement in Neck disability index (Headache component) [standardized mean difference (SMD): -0.84, 95% CI:- 0.94 to -0.74, p value - < 0.0001)], Visual analogue scale (SMD: - 1.47, 95% CI:-1.73 to -1.21; p value - 0.0004) and cervicogenic headache [Odds ratio (OR): 0.19, 95% CI: 0.06 to 0.63, p - 0.01). Significant improvement was also observed in vertigo (OR: 0.27, 95% CI: 0.10 to 0.77, p - 0.02), tinnitus (OR: 0.54, 95% CI: 0.35 to 0.83, p value - 0.02) and nausea (OR: 0.25, 95% CI: 0.13 to 0.47, p value - 0.006) following cervical decompression. There was non-significant improvement noticed in the rates of blurred vision, hypomensia, giddiness, gastrointestinal discomfort, palpitations and hypertension. Conclusions Our analysis revealed that cervicogenic headache, tinnitus and nausea were significantly relieved following cervical decompression. There was no significant effect of cervical decompression on blurred vision, hypomensia, giddiness gastrointestinal discomfort, palpitations and hypertension.
Article
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Study Design Prospective study. Objective Because single-level disk arthroplasty or arthrodesis in the lower subaxial spine improves headaches after surgery, we studied whether this effect may be better appreciated after two-level arthroplasty. Methods We performed an independent post hoc analysis of two concurrent prospective randomized investigational device exemption trials for cervical spondylosis, one for single-level treatment and the other for two adjacent-level treatments. Results For the one-level study, baseline mean headache scores significantly improved at 60 months for both the cervical disk arthroplasty (CDA) and anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion (ACDF) groups (p < 0.0001). However, mean improvement in headache scores was not statistically different between the investigational and control groups from 6 months through 60 months. For the two-level study, baseline mean headache scores significantly improved at 60 months for both the CDA and ACDF groups (p < 0.0001). The CDA group demonstrated greater improvement from baseline at all points; this difference was statistically significant at 6, 12, 24, 36, and 48 months but not at 18 and 60 months. Conclusion Both CDA and ACDF at either one or two levels are associated with sustained headache relief from baseline. Patients undergoing two-level arthroplasty had significantly greater improvement in headache at all points except for at 18 and 60 months. This difference in improvement was not observed in patients undergoing single-level arthroplasty. The mechanism of greater headache relief after two-level arthroplasty remains unclear.
Article
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Cervicogenic headache is a relatively common and still controversial form of headache arising from structures in the neck. Cervicogenic headache is a unilateral fixed headache characterised by pain that starts in the neck and spreads to the ipsilateral oculo-fronto-temporal area. The pathophysiology of cervicogenic headache probably depends on the effects of various local pain-producing or eliciting factors, such as intervertebral dysfunction, cytokines and nitric oxide. A reliable diagnosis of cervicogenic headache can be made based on the criteria established in 1998 by the Cervicogenic Headache International Study Group or the International Headache Society's most recent International Classification of Headache Disorders (2004). Various therapies have been used in the management of cervicogenic headache. These range from lowly invasive, drug-based therapies to highly invasive, surgical-based therapies. Unfortunately, the paucity of experimental models for cervicogenic headache and the relative lack of biomolecular markers for the condition mean much is still unclear about cervicogenic headache and the disorder remains inadequately treated.
Article
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Since many years we routinely use diagnostic selective nerve root blocks (SNRB) at our department when evaluating patients with cervical radiculopathy. Frequently patients who also presented with headache reported that the headache disappeared when the nerve root responsible for the radicular pain was blocked with local anaesthetics. Headache has been described as a companioning symptom related to cervical radiculopathy but has never before been evaluated with SNRB performed in the lower cervical spine. For this reason we added to our routine an evaluation of the response from the SNRB on headache in patients with cervical radiculopathy. The aim was to describe the frequency of headache in patients with cervical radiculopathy and its response to a selective nerve root block of the nerve root/roots responsible for the radiculopathy. Can nerve root compression in the lower cervical spine produce headache? In this consecutive series of 275 patients with cervical radiculopathy, 161 patients reported that they also suffered from daily or recurrent headache located most often unilaterally on the same side as the radiculopathy. All patients underwent a careful clinical examination by a neurosurgeon and a MRI of the cervical spine. The significantly compressed root/roots, according to the MRI, underwent SNRB with a local anaesthetic. The effect of the nerve root block on the radiculopathy and the headache was carefully noted and evaluated by a physiotherapist using visual analogue scales (VAS) before and after the SNRB. All patients with headache had tender points in the neck/shoulder region on the affected side. Patients with headache graded significantly more limitations in daily activities and higher pain intensity in the neck/shoulder/arm than patients without headache. After selective nerve root block, 59% of the patients with headache reported 50% or more reduction of headache and of these 69% reported total relief. A significant correlation was seen between reduced headache intensity and reduced pain in the neck, shoulder and arm. The result indicates that cervical root compression from degenerative disease in the lower cervical spine producing radiculopathy might also induce headache.
Article
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Article
OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to assess long-term clinical safety and effectiveness in patients undergoing anterior cervical surgery using the Prestige LP artificial disc replacement (ADR) prosthesis to treat degenerative cervical spine disease at 2 adjacent levels compared with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). METHODS A prospective, randomized, controlled, multicenter FDA-approved clinical trial was conducted at 30 US centers, comparing the low-profile titanium ceramic composite-based Prestige LP ADR (n = 209) at 2 levels with ACDF (n = 188). Clinical and radiographic evaluations were completed preoperatively, intraoperatively, and at regular postoperative intervals to 84 months. The primary end point was overall success, a composite variable that included key safety and efficacy considerations. RESULTS At 84 months, the Prestige LP ADR demonstrated statistical superiority over fusion for overall success (observed rate 78.6% vs 62.7%; posterior probability of superiority [PPS] = 99.8%), Neck Disability Index success (87.0% vs 75.6%; PPS = 99.3%), and neurological success (91.6% vs 82.1%; PPS = 99.0%). All other study effectiveness measures were at least noninferior for ADR compared with ACDF. There was no statistically significant difference in the overall rate of implant-related or implant/surgical procedure–related adverse events up to 84 months (26.6% and 27.7%, respectively). However, the Prestige LP group had fewer serious (Grade 3 or 4) implant- or implant/surgical procedure–related adverse events (3.2% vs 7.2%, log hazard ratio [LHR] and 95% Bayesian credible interval [95% BCI] −1.19 [−2.29 to −0.15]). Patients in the Prestige LP group also underwent statistically significantly fewer second surgical procedures at the index levels (4.2%) than the fusion group (14.7%) (LHR −1.29 [95% BCI −2.12 to −0.46]). Angular range of motion at superior- and inferior-treated levels on average was maintained in the Prestige LP ADR group to 84 months. CONCLUSIONS The low-profile artificial cervical disc in this study, Prestige LP, implanted at 2 adjacent levels, maintains improved clinical outcomes and segmental motion 84 months after surgery and is a safe and effective alternative to fusion. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00637156 (clinicaltrials.gov)
Article
OBJECTIVE The authors compared the efficacy and safety of arthroplasty using the Prestige LP cervical disc with those of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) for the treatment of degenerative disc disease (DDD) at 2 adjacent levels. METHODS Patients from 30 investigational sites were randomized to 1 of 2 groups: investigational patients (209) underwent arthroplasty using a Prestige LP artificial disc, and control patients (188) underwent ACDF with a cortical ring allograft and anterior cervical plate. Patients were evaluated preoperatively, intraoperatively, and at 1.5, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months postoperatively. Efficacy and safety outcomes were measured according to the Neck Disability Index (NDI), Numeric Rating Scales for neck and arm pain, 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), gait abnormality, disc height, range of motion (investigational) or fusion (control), adverse events (AEs), additional surgeries, and neurological status. Treatment was considered an overall success when all 4 of the following criteria were met: 1) NDI score improvement of ≥ 15 points over the preoperative score, 2) maintenance or improvement in neurological status compared with preoperatively, 3) no serious AE caused by the implant or by the implant and surgical procedure, and 4) no additional surgery (supplemental fixation, revision, or nonelective implant removal). Independent statisticians performed Bayesian statistical analyses. RESULTS The 24-month rates of overall success were 81.4% for the investigational group and 69.4% for the control group. The posterior mean for overall success in the investigational group exceeded that in the control group by 0.112 (95% highest posterior density interval = 0.023 to 0.201) with a posterior probability of 1 for noninferiority and 0.993 for superiority, demonstrating the superiority of the investigational group for overall success. Noninferiority of the investigational group was demonstrated for all individual components of overall success and individual effectiveness end points, except for the SF-36 Mental Component Summary. The investigational group was superior to the control group for NDI success. The proportion of patients experiencing any AE was 93.3% (195/209) in the investigational group and 92.0% (173/188) in the control group, which were not statistically different. The rate of patients who reported any serious AE (Grade 3 or 4) was significantly higher in the control group (90 [47.9%] of 188) than in the investigational group (72 [34.4%] of 209) with a posterior probability of superiority of 0.996. Radiographic success was achieved in 51.0% (100/196) of the investigational patients (maintenance of motion without evidence of bridging bone) and 82.1% (119/145) of the control patients (fusion). At 24 months, heterotopic ossification was identified in 27.8% (55/198) of the superior levels and 36.4% (72/198) of the inferior levels of investigational patients. CONCLUSIONS Arthroplasty with the Prestige LP cervical disc is as effective and safe as ACDF for the treatment of cervical DDD at 2 contiguous levels and is an alternative treatment for intractable radiculopathy or myelopathy at 2 adjacent levels. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00637156 ( clinicaltrials.gov )
Article
Object: The authors analyzed headache relief after anterior cervical discectomy. Headache may be relieved after anterior cervical discectomy, but the mechanism is unknown. If headaches were directly referred from upper cervical pathology, more headache relief would be expected from surgery performed at higher cervical levels. If spinal kinesthetics were the mechanism, then headache relief may differ between arthroplasty and fusion. Headache relief after anterior cervical discectomy was quantified by the operated disc level and by the method of operation (arthroplasty vs arthrodesis). Methods: The authors performed a post hoc analysis of an artificial disc trial. Data on headache pain were extracted from the Neck Disability Index (NDI) questionnaire. Results: A total of 260 patients underwent single-level arthroplasty or arthodesis. Preoperatively, 52% reported NDI headache scores of 3 or greater, compared with only 13%-17% postoperatively. The model-based mean NDI headache score at baseline was 2.5 (95% CI 2.3-2.7) and was reduced by 1.3 points after surgery (95% CI 1.2-1.4, p < 0.001). Higher cervical levels were associated with a greater degree of preoperative headache, but there was no association with headache relief. There was no significant difference in headache relief between arthroplasty and arthrodesis. Conclusions: Most patients with symptomatic cervical spondylosis have headache as a preoperative symptom (88%). Anterior cervical discectomy with both arthroplasty and arthrodesis is associated with a durable decrease in headache. Headache relief is not related to the level of operation. The mechanism for headache reduction remains unclear.
Article
Cervicogenic headache is characterised by pain referred to the head from the cervical spine. Although the International Headache Society recognises this type of headache as a distinct disorder, some clinicians remain sceptical. Laboratory and clinical studies have shown that pain from upper cervical joints and muscles can be referred to the head. Clinical diagnostic criteria have not proved valid, but a cervical source of pain can be established by use of fluoroscopically guided, controlled, diagnostic nerve blocks. In this Review, we outline the basic science and clinical evidence for cervicogenic headache and indicate how opposing approaches to its definition and diagnosis affect the evidence for its clinical management. We provide recommendations that enable a pragmatic approach to the diagnosis and management of probable cervicogenic headache, as well as a rigorous approach to the diagnosis and management of definite cervical headache.
Article
Headaches related to the cervical spine have been reported by various authors, and modalities of treatment are as varied as their speculated causes. The purpose of this study was to determine if anterior cervical reconstructive surgery (cervical arthrodesis and disc arthroplasty) for the treatment of radiculopathy or myelopathy also helps to alleviate associated headaches. We conducted a post hoc analysis of study cohorts combined from prospective studies comparing the results of Prestige and Bryan cervical arthroplasty devices and those of anterior cervical arthrodesis with allograft and anterior instrumentation. A total of 1004 patients (51.6% were male) were evaluated with use of the Neck Disability Index questionnaire preoperatively and at five points postoperatively, with the latest evaluation at twenty-four months, resulting in a follow-up of 803 patients. At the twenty-four-month follow-up, the improvement from baseline with regard to headache was significant in both groups (p < 0.0001), with patients who underwent arthroplasty reporting numerically better pain scores. Most arthroplasty and arthrodesis patients (64% and 58.5%, respectively) had improvement in the pain score of at least one grade. Conversely, the pain scores for 8.4% of those who had an arthroplasty and 13.7% of those who had arthrodesis worsened by at least one grade. For the remainder, the score was unchanged. Overall, the patients who had an arthroplasty had significant improvement more frequently than did the patients who had arthrodesis (p = 0.011). At two years postoperatively, patients undergoing anterior cervical operations, both those who have an arthroplasty and those who have an arthrodesis, for cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy can be expected to have significant improvement from baseline with regard to headache symptoms.
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Two cases of progressive, occipital lancinating pain and dysesthesias associated with a sensory deficit of the C2 dermatome are presented. Symptoms were relieved, and C2 sensory function restored by releasing a hypertrophied atlanto-epistrophic ligament entrapping the C2 root and ganglion. The normal anatomy and abnormal surgical findings are described. C2 entrapment by the atlanto-epistrophic ligament is discussed in reference to other C2 lesions causing occipital pain. We conclude that some patients whose progressive occipital pain is accompanied by a C2 sensory deficit are suffering from entrapment of the C2 root and ganglion amenable to surgical decompression.
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The surgical treatment of greater occipital neuralgia often involves diagnostic anesthetic blockade, followed by chemical or surgical ablation of the greater occipital nerve. The anatomy of this region was studied in microdissections of 2 cadaver specimens. The diagnosis and management of a series of 5 patients with greater occipital neuralgia is discussed. Two patients were treated with atlanto-epistrophic ligament decompression of the C 2 dorsal root ganglion and nerve; four patients had C 2 ganglionotomy performed. All patients in this series had immediate complete relief of pain following surgery. Patients were followed for a mean of 24 months (range 7–33 months). One patient had a recurrence of her original pain after 26 months following atlanto-epistrophic ligament decompression and required re-operation in the form of bilateral C 2 ganglionotomy. All patients experienced transient nausea and dizziness in the several days following surgery. One patient had an incisional cerebrospinal fluid leak. Microsurgical C 2 gangliotomy is advocated as the preferred surgical treatment of greater occipital neuralgia of idiopathic origin.
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We have recently reported 90% success in a series of patients undergoing microsurgical decompression of the second cervical (C2) nerve root and ganglion for cervicogenic headache. Review and analysis of our database was carried out in order to cull factors characterizing patients amenable to this surgical treatment. Thirty-five sequential C2 decompressions performed on 31 patients who were pain-free or significantly improved in follow-up were evaluated retrospectively. Preoperative factors and intraoperative findings were analyzed for prognostic significance. The diagnosis of cervicogenic headache was made using established criteria and success of CT-guided C2 anesthetic blockade in alleviating the headache. Numerous historical factors noted preoperatively including age, sex, history of trauma, autonomic symptoms, visual changes, and many others were not able to be well correlated with outcome in univariate analysis. Likewise, no strong correlation could be made for findings on physical examination. Thus, no specific prognostic factors could be established, other than the accepted diagnostic criteria and successful anesthetic blockade of the C2 root and ganglion. These factors should identify the subset of patients with cervicogenic headache predominantly due to C2 root or ganglion effect and thus may favor a surgical treatment.
Article
The authors evaluated the effectiveness of microsurgical C-2 ganglionectomy in 39 patients with medically refractory chronic occipital pain. In this procedure the neurons transmitting sensory inputs from the occiput are removed and, unlike peripheral nerve ablation, axonal regeneration is not possible. The patients in this series had symptoms for 1 to 43 years. In 22 patients the occipital pain was caused by trauma; in 17 patients the pain was spontaneous. Pain relief failed in 17 patients who had undergone a previous occipital neurectomy or C-2 rhizolysis. Twenty-three patients experienced pain that was described as shocklike, electric, shooting, jabbing, stabbing, sharp, or exploding (Group I). Eight patients described their pain as dull, pounding, aching, throbbing, or pressurelike (Group II). The patients underwent unilateral or bilateral C-2 open microsurgical ganglionectomies. The postoperative follow-up period ranged from 19 to 48 months. Nineteen patients experienced an excellent result (> 90% reduction in pain). Pain caused by trauma or that described using Group I terms responded best to ganglionectomy (80% good or excellent response). In contrast, the majority of the patients with nontraumatic pain or those described using Group II descriptors did not achieve favorable results. The authors conclude that: 1) patients who suffer from chronic occipital pain after having sustained injury obtain worthwhile benefit from microsurgical C-2 ganglionectomy; 2) patients suffering from migraine, tension, and vascular headaches involving the occipital area are most often not helped by this operation; and 3) terms such as "shock," "electric," "shooting," "jabbing," and "sharp" used to describe occipital pain predict a favorable pain outcome following a C-2 ganglionectomy.
Article
102 patients suffering from long-lasting, very severe cervicogenic headache (CEH), non-responsive to physical or drug therapy, were surgically treated. Different diagnostic procedures and their significance for determining the advisability of surgery are summarised. The particular importance of the patient history and local anaesthesia together with the clinical examination is outlined. Different surgical approaches are described: ganglionectomy, ventral and dorsal decompressive operation. CEH can be triggered by vascular or scar tissue compression of the C2 root and ganglion and irritation of other upper cervical nerve roots (C3, C4). Vascular compression is caused by: (a) the sinusoidal venous plexus, which surrounds the ganglion and nerve root like a cuff and may be dilated upon raised venous pressure; (b) further on by arterial loops throbbing against the ganglion; and (c) (rarely) by arteriovenous (AV) malformations. Nerve fibre degeneration is demonstrated morphologically by electron optical investigation. Afferences from ganglion C2 to the brain stem, as documented by experimental investigation on cats using the injection of HRP into the C2-ganglion, can explain the reference of pain from the neck to the fronto-ocular region and could at the same time elucidate the genesis of accompanying symptoms. Degenerative diseases such as disc protrusion and retrospondylosis have been shown to be other trigger mechanisms evoking CEH, as is well known from facet joint arthrosis. Degenerative diseases usually cause dura compression with narrowing of the spinal canal and frequently, in addition, instability. Evocation of CEH could be explained by the irritation, by those degenerative diseases, of structures with pain-conducting nerve fibres (facet joint capsule, nerve root, longitudinal ligaments, spinal dura, disc). About 80% of our surgically treated patients were relieved of pain or improved during a long period of follow up. The recurrence of degenerative alterations with new irritation from pain-conducting structures is thought to be responsible for the recurrence of headache. Further surgical approaches for the treatment of patients with the recurrence of pain are discussed. Various surgical treatments are suggested to treat long-lasting severe CEH in patients not responsive to any physical or drug therapy.
Article
Retrospective patient identification and prospective data collection were performed. To evaluate the outcome of anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion for discogenic cervical headaches. Cervicogenic headaches affect up to 2.5% of the population. One cause is discogenic pain. Because anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion may improve neck pain, the effect of this procedure on discogenic cervical headaches was evaluated. Nine patients with severe refractory cervicogenic headaches who underwent anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion of the upper cervical discs were retrospectively identified on the basis of clinical, radiographic, and diskography findings. Pain was measured by a numerical rating scale, and function by the Oswestry Disability Index. The study involved six women and three men with a mean age of 52 (range, 35-72 years) and a mean follow-up period of 37 months (range, 24-49 months). Anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion was performed at both C2-C3 and C3-C4 in seven patients, at C2-C3 in one patient, and at C2-C3, C3-C4, and C4-C5 in one patient. Associated symptoms included nausea, arm pain, dizziness, and visual disturbances. All the patients improved. All stated that they would have the same surgery again for the same outcome. The mean numerical rating score improved from 8 (range, 5-10) to 2.7 (range, 0-7) ( < 0.001), and five patients (56%) had total headache relief. The mean Oswestry Disability Index improved from 62 (range, 42-87) to 35 (range, 2-82) ( < 0.009). The associated symptoms resolved in all the patients. There was early moderate to severe dysphagia in three patients, and mild dysphagia in four patients. At the final follow-up assessment, five patients evidenced mild dysphagia. Anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion appears to be quite effective for discogenic cervical headache, but should be reserved for patients who are extremely impaired and refractory to all other treatments.
Article
Chronic headache is a significant medical and socioeconomic problem resulting in severe disability and impairment. The term "cervicogenic headache" was coined by Sjaastad in 1983, who also proposed criteria for its diagnosis. Cervicogenic headache as described by Sjaastad et al is characterized as recurrent, long lasting, severe unilateral headache arising from the neck. Exact pathoanatomic and pathophysiologic basis for cervicogenic headache is unclear. Numerous authors have proposed various theories ranging from neurophysiologic basis involving ascending fibers from the C1 and C2 nerve roots to multiple pain generators in pain-sensitive structures involved in head movement. Thus, cervicogenic headache should be considered as a descriptive term rather than a final diagnosis. Because of the numerous potential pain generators, neither uniform clinical findings, nor a pathophysiology has been defined for the entity known as cervicogenic headache. Sequential diagnostic injections may elucidate pain generators and differentiate it from other types of headaches. This review describes the epidemiological and clinical aspects of cervicogenic headache, pathophysiology, diagnostic strategies to differentiate it from other common headaches and describes various non-operative treatment strategies.
Article
To evaluate the postoperative fate of chronic, hard-to-treat and partly suicidal cervicogenic headache (CEH) patients (n = 32), diagnosed according to the CHISG criteria and treated with a decompression/stabilization operation in the cervical spine: the Smith/Robinson operation. The cervical levels of affection, singled out by magnetic resonance, anaesthetic blockades and X-ray examinations were mainly at the C4-5, C5-6, C6-7 levels; one or two discs were removed. The study was prospective and controlled. During the 1- to 3-month-long postoperative period of collar-wearing, there generally was pain freedom. The mean time of follow-up was 19.8 months: pain recurrence, known to the authors, appeared after 1-58 months (n = 12). The mean time of improvement was: 14.8 months (range 1-58 months). Five patients stayed well > or =3 years. This is certainly a minimum figure. The patients ultimately were lost to follow-up. For the time being, this operation should preferably be used in selected, chronic, severely afflicted, preferably elderly CEH patients, when other therapeutic approaches are exhausted.
Article
In 1983 Sjaastad published for the first time diagnostic criteria for cervicogenic headache. Until now there have been no prospective studies investigating whether cervical disc prolapse can cause cervicogenic headache. Between July 2002 and July 2003 50 patients with cervical disc prolapse proven by computed tomography, myelography or magnetic resonance imaging were recruited and prospectively followed for 3 months. Patients were asked at different time points about headache and neck pain by questionnaires and structured interviews. These data were collected prior to and 7 and 90 days after surgery for the disc prolapse. Fifty patients with lumbar disc prolapse, matched for age and sex, undergoing surgery were recruited as controls. Headache and neck pain was diagnosed according to International Headache Society (IHS) criteria. Twelve of 50 patients with cervical disc prolapse reported new headache and neck pain. Seven patients (58%) fulfilled the 2004 IHS criteria for cervicogenic headache. Two of 50 patients with lumbar disc prolapse had new headaches. Their headaches did not fulfil the criteria for cervicogenic headache. One week after surgery, 8/12 patients with cervical disc prolapse and headache reported to be pain free. One patient was improved and three were unchanged. Three months after cervical prolapse surgery, seven patients were pain free, three improved and two unchanged. This prospective study shows an association of low cervical prolapse with cervicogenic headache: headache and neck pain improves or disappears in 80% of patients after surgery for the cervical disc prolapse. These results indicate that pain afferents from the lower cervical roots can converge on the cervical trigeminal nucleus and the nucleus caudalis.
The Neck Disability Index: a study of reliability and validity Erratum in: J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1992;15
  • H Vernon
  • S Minor
Upper cervical anterior diskectomy and fusion improves discogenic cervical headaches
  • Schofferman
A new syndrome of vascular headache
  • Horton