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Tissue Sparing Posterior Fixation as a Treatment Option for Degenerative Disc Disease

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Background Conditions requiring cervical decompression and stabilization are commonly treated using anterior cervical discectomy and fusion using an anterior cage-plate construct. Anterior zero profile integrated cages are an alternative to a cage-plate construct, but literature suggests they may result in less motion reduction. Interfacet cages may improve integrated cage stability. This study evaluated the motion reduction of integrated cages with and without supplemental interfacet fixation. Motion reduction of integrated cages were also compared to published cage-plate results. Methods Seven cadaveric (C2-T1) spines were tested in flexion-extension, lateral bending, and rotation. Specimens were tested: 1) intact, 2) C6-C7 integrated cage, 3) C6-C7 integrated cage + interfacet cages, 4) additional integrated cages at C3-C4 and C4-C5, 5) C3-C4, C4-C5 and C6-C7 integrated cages + interfacet cages. Motion, lordosis, disc and neuroforaminal height were assessed. Findings Integrated cage at C6-C7 decreased flexion-extension by 37% (P = .06) and C3-C5 by 54% (P < .01). Integrated + interfacet cages decreased motion by 89% and 86% compared to intact (P < .05). Integrated cages increased lordosis at C4-C5 and C6-C7 (P < .01). Integrated + interfacet cages returned C3-C5 lordosis to intact values, while C6-C7 remained more lordotic (P = .02). Compared to intact, neuroforaminal height increased after integrated cages at C3-C5 (P ≤ .01) and at all levels after interfacet cages (P < .01). Interpretation Anterior integrated cages provides less stability than traditional cage-plate constructs while supplemental interfacet cages improve stabilization. Integrated cages provide more lordosis at caudal levels and increase neuroforaminal height more at cranial levels. After interfacet cages, posterior disc height and neuroforaminal height increased more at the caudal segments.
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Study Design Retrospective case series. Objectives To evaluate the efficacy and results of minimally invasive posterior cervical fusion with facet cages as an augment to high-risk patients and patients status post multilevel anterior cervical decompression and fusion. Methods Thirty-five patients with symptomatic cervical stenosis with high risk for pseudoarthrosis underwent circumferential cervical decompression and fusion via staged anterior and posterior approach. Anterior cervical decompression and fusion was performed first by means of the standard anterior approach, with the patient supine on the operating table. The patients were subsequently flipped into a prone position and minimally invasive posterior cervical facet fusion with DTRAX was performed. The patients were then followed in the outpatient clinic for an average of 312.71 days. Postoperative patient satisfaction scores were obtained via the visual analogue scale (VAS). Preoperative VAS scores were compared with postoperative VAS scores in order to evaluate patient outcomes. Results Of the 35 patients evaluated, minimum follow-up was 102 days, with a maximum follow-up of 839 days. Average preoperative and postoperative VAS scores were 7.6 and 2.8, respectively ( P < .0001), with an average improvement of 4.86 points. This was an average improvement of 64.70% from preoperative to postoperative. Seventeen patients had excellent outcomes, with a postoperative VAS score ≤2. Seven patients achieved a postoperative VAS score of 0, with 100% improvement of preoperative pain and symptoms. Average blood loss was 70.38 mL. Average length of stay was 1.03 days. Conclusions The results indicate that minimally invasive posterior cervical decompression and fusion with facet cages, when combined with standard anterior cervical decompression and fusion, is an effective means of obtaining circumferential cervical fusion while simultaneously improving patient outcomes.
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Study design: Literature review. Objectives: Posterior cervical interfacet cages are an alternative to lateral mass fixation in patients undergoing cervical spine surgery. Recently, a percutaneous, tissue-sparing system for interfacet cage placement has been developed, however, there is limited clinical evidence supporting its widespread use. The aim was to review studies published on this system for patient reported outcomes, radiographic outcomes, intraoperative outcomes, and complications. Methods: Four electronic databases (PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, and MEDLINE) were queried for original published studies that evaluated the percutaneous, tissue-sparing technique for posterior cervical fusion with interfacet cage placement. All studies reporting on open techniques and purely biomechanical studies were excluded. Results: The extensive literature search returned 7852 studies. After systematic review, a total of 7 studies met inclusion criteria. Studies were independently classified as retrospective or prospective cohort studies and each assessed by the GRADE criteria. Patient reported outcomes, radiographic outcomes, intraoperative outcomes, and complications were extracted from each study and presented. Conclusions: Tissue-sparing, posterior cervical fusion with interfacet cages may be considered a safe and effective surgical intervention in patients failing conservative management for cervical spondylotic disease. However, the quality of evidence in the literature is lacking, and controlled, comparative studies are needed for definitive assessment.
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Background context: Posterior cervical fusion (PCF) with decompression is a treatment option for patients with conditions such as spondylosis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disorders that result in myelopathy or radiculopathy. The annual rate, number, and cost of PCF in the United States has increased. Far fewer studies have been published on PCF outcomes than on anterior cervical fusion (ACF) outcomes, most likely because far fewer PCFs than ACFs are performed. Purpose: To evaluate the patient-reported and clinical outcomes of adult patients who underwent subaxial posterior cervical fusion with decompression. Study design/setting: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Patient sample: The total number of patients in the 31 articles reviewed and included in the meta-analysis was 1,238 (range 7-166). Outcome measures: Preoperative to postoperative change in patient-reported outcomes (visual analog scales for arm pain and neck pain, Neck Disability Index, Japanese Orthopaedic Association [JOA] score, modified JOA score, and Nurick pain scale) and rates of fusion, revision, and complications or adverse events. Methods: This study was performed according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines and a preapproved protocol. PubMed and Embase databases were searched for articles published from January 2001 through July 2018. Statistical analyses for patient-reported outcomes were performed on the outcomes' raw mean differences, calculated as postoperative value minus preoperative value from each study. Pooled rates of successful fusion, revision surgery, and complications or adverse events, and their 95% confidence intervals, were also calculated. Two subgroup analyses were performed: one for studies in which only myelopathy or radiculopathy (or both) were stated as surgical indications and the other for studies in which only myelopathy or ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (or both) were stated as surgical indications. This study was funded by Providence Medical Technology, Inc. ($32,000). Results: Thirty-three articles were included in the systematic review, and 31 articles were included in the meta-analysis. For all surgical indications and for the 2 subgroup analyses, every cumulative change in patient-reported outcome improved. Many of the reported changes in patient-reported outcome also exceeded the minimal clinically important differences. Pooled outcome rates with all surgical indications were 98.25% for successful fusion, 1.09% for revision, and 9.02% for complications or adverse events. Commonly reported complications or adverse events were axial pain, C5 palsy, transient neurological worsening, and wound infection. Conclusions: Posterior cervical fusion with decompression resulted in significant clinical improvement, as indicated by the changes in patient-reported outcomes. Additionally, high fusion rates and low rates of revision and of complications and adverse events were found.
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Background: Using a multi-center medical device registry, we prospectively collected a set of perioperative and clinical outcomes among patients treated with tissue-sparing, posteriorly-placed intervertebral cage fusion used in the management of symptomatic, degenerative neural compressive disorders of the cervical spine. Methods: Cervical fusion utilizing posteriorly-placed intervertebral cages offers a tissue-sparing alternative to traditional instrumentation for the treatment of symptomatic cervical radiculopathy. A registry was established to prospectively collect perioperative and clinical data in a real-world clinical practice setting for patients treated via this approach. This study evaluated length of stay as well as estimated blood loss and procedural time in 271 registry patients. Results: The median length of stay was 1.1, 1.1 and 1.2 days for patients having a stand-alone arthrodesis, revision of a pseudoarthrosis, and circumferential fusion (360°), respectively, and was not related to number of levels treated. Historical comparison to published literature demonstrated that average lengths of stay associated with open, posterior lateral mass fixation were consistently ≥4 days. Average blood loss (range, 32-75 mL) and procedural time (range, 51-88 min) were also diminished in patients having tissue-sparing, cervical intervertebral cage fusion compared to open posterior lateral mass fixation. Conclusions: Adoption of this tissue-sparing procedure may offer substantial cost-constraining benefits by reducing the length of post-operative hospitalization by, at least, 3 days compared to traditional lateral mass fixation.
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Background Disease of the cervical spine is widely prevalent, most commonly secondary to degenerative disc changes and spondylosis. Objective The goal of the paper was to identify a possible discrepancy regarding the length of stay (LOS) between the anterior and posterior approaches to elective cervical spine surgery and identify contributing factors. Methods A retrospective study was performed on 587 patients (341 anterior, 246 posterior) that underwent elective cervical spinal surgery between October 2001 and March 2014. Pre- and intraoperative data were analyzed. Statistical analysis was performed using GraphPad Prism 5 (GraphPad Software, Inc., La Jolla, CA) and the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) (IBM SPSS Statistics, Armonk, NY). Results Average LOS was 3.21 ± 0.32 days for patients that benefited from the anterior approach cervical spinal surgery and 5.28 ± 0.37 days for patients that benefited from the posterior approach surgery, P-value < 0.0001. Anterior patients had lower American Society of Anesthesiologists scores (2.43 ± 0.036 vs. 2.70 ± 0.044). Anterior patients also had fewer intervertebral levels operated upon (2.18 ± 0.056 vs. 4.11 ± 0.13), shorter incisions (5.49 ± 0.093 cm vs. 9.25 ± 0.16 cm), lower estimated blood loss (EBL) (183.8 ± 9.0 cc vs. 340.0 ± 8.7 cc), and shorter procedure times (4.12 ± 0.09 hours vs. 4.47 ± 0.10 hours). Chi-squared tests for hypertension, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma showed no significant difference between groups. Conclusions: Patients with anterior surgery performed experienced a length of stay that was 2.07 days shorter on average. Higher EBL, longer incisions, more intervertebral levels, and longer operating time were significantly associated with the posterior approach. Future studies should include multiple surgeons. The goal would be to create a model that could accurately predict the postoperative length of stay based on patient and operative factors.
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Study Design Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data. Objective Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is one of the most commonly performed spinal procedures. Considering the high success and low complications rate of ACDF and high prevalence of age-related degeneration of the cervical spine, the rates of ACDF are expected to continually rise. The objective is to identify the association between patient age and 30-day postoperative outcomes following elective ACDF. Methods The 2010-2014 ACS-NSQIP database was queried using Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes 22551 or 22554. Patients were divided into age quartiles (18-45, 46-52, 53-60, and ≥61 years). Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were employed to quantify the increased risk of 30-day postoperative complications in the elderly patient population. Results A total of 20 563 patients met the inclusion criteria for the study. The analyses found quartile 4 had an increased odds of length of stay (LOS) ≥5 days (odds ratio [OR] = 2.05, confidence interval [CI ] = 1.62-2.60), pulmonary complications (OR = 3.25, CI = 1.81-5.84), urinary tract infections (UTI) (OR = 2.25, 1.04-4.87, P = .038), cardiac complication (OR = 6.01, CI = 1.36-26.62, P = .018), and sepsis (OR = 4.38, CI = 1.30-14.70, P = .017). Quartiles 2 and 4 had an increased odds of venous thromboembolism (OR = 3.13, CI = 1.14-8.56, P = .026; OR = 3.83, CI = 1.44-10.20, P = .007). Quartiles 3 and 4 experienced an increased odds of unplanned readmission (OR = 1.44, CI = 1.01-2.05, P = .045; OR = 1.88, CI = 1.33-2.66). All P values are <.001 unless otherwise noted. Conclusion Elderly patients experienced an increased odds of LOS ≥5 days, pulmonary complications, cardiac compilations, venous thromboembolism, UTI, sepsis, and unplanned readmission. Identification of these factors can improve the selection of appropriate surgical candidates and postoperative safety.
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Introduction: Supplemental posterior instrumentation has been widely used to enhance stability and improve fusion rates in higher risk patients undergoing anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). These typically involve posterior lateral mass or pedicle screw fixation with significant inherent risks and morbidities. More recently, cervical cages placed bilaterally between the facet joints (posterior cervical cages) have been used as a less disruptive alternative for posterior fixation. The purpose of this study was to compare the stability achieved by both posterior cages and ACDF at a single motion segment and determine the stability achieved with posterior cervical cages used as an adjunct to single- and multilevel ACDF. Methods: Seven cadaveric cervical spine (C2-T1) specimens were tested in the following sequence: intact, C5-C6 bilateral posterior cages, C6-C7 plated ACDF with and without posterior cages, and C3-C5 plated ACDF with and without posterior cages. Range of motion in flexion-extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation was measured for each condition under moment loading up to ±1.5 Nm. Results: All fusion constructs significantly reduced the range of motion compared to intact in flexion-extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation (P<0.05). Similar stability was achieved with bilateral posterior cages and plated ACDF at a single level. Posterior cages, when placed as an adjunct to ACDF, further reduced range of motion in both single- and multilevel constructs (P<0.05). Conclusion: The biomechanical effectiveness of bilateral posterior cages in limiting cervical segmental motion is comparable to single-level plated ACDF. Furthermore, supplementation of single- and multilevel ACDF with posterior cervical cages provided a significant increase in stability and therefore may be a potential, minimally disruptive option for supplemental fixation for improving ACDF fusion rates.
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Study Design Literature review. Objective The aim of this literature review was to detail the effects of smoking in spine surgery and examine whether perioperative smoking cessation could mitigate these risks. Methods A review of the relevant literature examining the effects of smoking and cessation on surgery was conducted using PubMed, Google Scholar, and Cochrane databases. Results Current smokers are significantly more likely to experience pseudarthrosis and postoperative infection and to report lower clinical outcomes after surgery in both the cervical and lumbar spines. Smoking cessation can reduce the risks of these complications depending on both the duration and timing of tobacco abstinence. Conclusion Smoking negatively affects both the objective and subjective outcomes of surgery in the lumbar and cervical spine. Current literature supports smoking cessation as an effective tool in potentially mitigating these unwanted outcomes. Future investigations in this field should be directed toward developing a better understanding of the complex relationship between smoking and poorer outcomes in spine surgery as well as developing more efficacious cessation strategies.
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The prevalence of diabetes increases with age, driven in part by an absolute increase in incidence among adults aged 65 years and older. Individuals with diabetes are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, and age strongly predicts cardiovascular complications. Inflammation and oxidative stress appear to play some role in the mechanisms underlying aging, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other complications of diabetes. However, the mechanisms underlying the age-associated increase in risk for diabetes and diabetes-related cardiovascular disease remain poorly understood. Moreover, because of the heterogeneity of the older population, a lack of understanding of the biology of aging, and inadequate study of the effects of treatments on traditional complications and geriatric conditions associated with diabetes, no consensus exists on the optimal interventions for older diabetic adults. The Association of Specialty Professors, along with the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the American Diabetes Association, held a workshop, summarized in this Perspective, to discuss current knowledge regarding diabetes and cardiovascular disease in older adults, identify gaps, and propose questions to guide future research.
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Study Design Retrospective population-based observational study. Objective To assess the growth of cervical spine surgery performed in an outpatient setting. Methods A retrospective study was conducted using the United States Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project's State Inpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Databases for California, New York, Florida, and Maryland from 2005 to 2009. Current Procedural Terminology, fourth revision (CPT-4) and International Classification of Diseases, ninth revision Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes were used to identify operations for degenerative cervical spine diseases in adults (age > 20 years). Disposition and complication rates were examined. Results There was an increase in cervical spine surgeries performed in an ambulatory setting during the study period. Anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion accounted for 68% of outpatient procedures; posterior decompression made up 21%. Younger patients predominantly underwent anterior fusion procedures, and patients in the eighth and ninth decades of life had more posterior decompressions. Charlson comorbidity index and complication rates were substantially lower for ambulatory cases when compared with inpatients. The majority (>99%) of patients were discharged home following ambulatory surgery. Conclusions Recently, the number of cervical spine surgeries has increased in general, and more of these procedures are being performed in an ambulatory setting. The majority (>99%) of patients are discharged home but the nature of analyzing administrative data limits accurate assessment of postoperative complications and thus patient safety. This increase in outpatient cervical spine surgery necessitates further discussion of its safety.
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Posterior cervical foraminotomy is an effective surgical technique for the treatment of radicular pain caused by foraminal stenosis or posterolateral herniated discs. The present study was performed to compare the clinical parameters and surgical outcomes of open foraminotomy/discectomy (OF/OFD) and tubular retractor assisted foraminotomy/discectomy (TAF/TAFD) in the treatment of cervical radiculopathy. A total of 41 patients were divided into two groups: 19 patients in Group 1 underwent OF/OFD and 22 patients in Group 2 underwent TAF/TAFD. Among the various clinical parameters, skin incision size, length of hospital stay, analgesic using time, and postoperative neck pain (for the first 4 weeks after the operation) were favorable in Group 2. Surgical outcomes were not different between the two groups. In conclusion, TAF/TAFD should increase patient's compliance and is as clinically effective as much as the OF/OFD.
Article
Background: Pseudoarthrosis following spinal fusion is an important cause of pain, neurologic decline, and reoperation. Methods: The HCUP State Inpatient Databases were queried in New York, California, Florida, and Washington for adult patients who underwent new spinal fusion between 2009 and 2011. In accordance with the HCUP methods series and analysis guidelines, generalized linear mixed effects models were employed to estimate the odds of experiencing post-operative pseudoarthrosis as a function of multivariable patient characteristics, comorbidities, and surgical approach. Results: 1,295 of 107,420 (1.2%) patients undergoing cervical fusion developed pseudoarthrosis requiring reoperation. On multivariable analysis, risk factors included posterior (OR = 4.47, 95CI: 3.92-5.10) and combined approaches (OR = 1.77, 95CI: 1.33-2.36), fusion of 9 or more vertebrae (OR = 2.54, 95CI: 1.38-4.68), smoking (OR = 1.19, 95CI: 1.05-1.34), and long-term steroid use (OR = 1.89, 95CI: 1.18-3.00). 2,665 of 148,081 (1.8%) patients undergoing thoracic or lumbar fusion developed pseudoarthrosis. Posterior (OR = 0.58, 95CI: 0.51-0.56) and Combined approaches (OR = 0.46 (0.40-0.54) had reduced rates, while fusion of 4-8 (OR = 1.52, 95CI: 1.39-1.67) and 9 or more vertebrae (OR = 1.87, 95CI: 1.49-2.34), hypertension (OR = 1.18, 95CI: 1.09-1.28), sleep apnea (OR = 1.48, 95CI: 1.26-1.72), smoking (OR = 1.22, 95CI: 1.12-1.33), and long-term steroid use (OR = 1.53, 95CI: 1.08, 2.18) had increased rates. Conclusions: This study strongly associates several diagnoses with the development of pseudoarthrosis; however, further prospective study is warranted to establish causation.
Article
Background: The rate of cervical spinal fusion has been increasing significantly. However, there is a paucity of literature describing trends based on surgical approach using complete population databases. We investigated the approach-based trends in epidemiology, indications, and in-hospital outcomes of cervical spinal fusion. Methods: New York's Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System database was queried to identify patients who underwent primary subaxial cervical fusion from 1997 to 2012. Demographic and clinical information was obtained. Subgroup analyses were performed based on surgical approach: anterior (A), posterior (P), and circumferential (C). Results: A total of 87,045 cervical fusions were included. Over the study period, the population-adjusted annual fusion rate increased from 23.7 to 50.6 per 100,000 population (P < 0.001). A fusion was most common (85.2%), followed by P (12.3%), and C (2.5%). Mean ages were 49.8 ± 11.9, 59.9 ± 15.2, and 55.1 ± 14.5 years (P < 0.001), respectively. Although rates remained steady among younger patients, they increased for older patients. Overall, degenerative conditions were the predominant indications for surgery and increased in rate over time. The mean length of stay was: A, 3.1 ± 10.5; P, 9.1 ± 14.1; and C, 14.1 ± 22.5 days (P < 0.001). Rates of in-hospital complications were A, 3.0%; P, 10.5%; and C, 18.9% (P < 0.001), and mortality was A, 0.3%, P, 1.8%, and C, 2.5% (P < 0.001). Conclusions: The rate of subaxial spinal fusions increased 114% from 1997 to 2012 in New York State. Rates remained stable in younger patients but increased in the older population. Preoperative indications and postoperative courses differed significantly among the various approaches, with patients undergoing anterior fusion having better short-term outcomes.
Article
Background: Spinal fusion surgery is performed about half a million times per year in the United States and millions more worldwide. It is an effective method for reducing pain, increasing stability, and correcting deformity in patients with various spinal conditions. In addition to being a well-established risk factor for a variety of medical conditions, smoking has deleterious effects on the bone healing of spinal fusions. This review aims to specifically analyze the ways in which smoking affects the outcomes of spinal fusion and to explore ways in which these negative consequences can be avoided. Purpose: This article provides a complete understanding of the ways smoking affects spinal fusion from a biochemical and clinical perspective. Recommendations are also provided for ways in which surgeons can limit patient exposure to the most serious negative outcomes associated with cigarette smoking. Study design/setting: This study was a retrospective literature review done using the NCBI database. The research was compiled at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases and the NYU Center for Musculoskeletal Care. Methods: A comprehensive literature review was done spanning research on a variety of subjects related to smoking and spinal fusion surgery. The biochemistry of smoking and fusion healing were examined in great detail. In addition, both in vivo animal studies and human clinical studies were evaluated to explore fusion success related to the effects of smoking and its biochemical factors on spinal fusion surgery. Results: Smoking significantly increases the risk of pseudoarthrosis for patients undergoing both lumbar and cervical fusions. In addition to nonunion, smoking also increases the risk of other perioperative complications such as infection, adjacent-segment pathology, and dysphagia. Treatment options are available that can be explored to reduce the risk of smoking-related morbidity, such as nicotine replacement therapy and use of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). Conclusions: It has been clearly demonstrated from both a biochemical and clinical perspective that smoking increases the rate of perioperative complications for patients undergoing spinal fusion surgery, particularly pseudoarthosis. It has also been shown that there are certain approaches that can reduce the risk of morbidity. The most important recommendation is smoking cessation for four weeks after surgery. In addition, patients may be treated with certain surgical techniques, including the use of BMPs, to reduce the risk of pseudoarthrosis. Lastly, nicotine replacement therapy is an area of continued interest in relation to spinal fusion outcomes and more research needs to be done to determine its efficacy moving forward.
Article
BACKGROUND: Pseudarthrosis after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) causes persistent pain and related disability. Posterior revision surgery results in higher healing rates, but is more extensive compared to anterior surgery. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate minimally disruptive, tissue sparing posterior fusion via bilateral placement of posterior cages between the facet joints as an alternative treatment option. METHODS: A retrospective, multicenter, medical chart review was performed and included 25 patients with symptomatic pseudarthrosis after ACDF treated with posterior cervical cages, and in select cases, anterior revision. Visual analog scale (VAS) for neck and arm pain, Neck Disability Index (NDI), and perioperative metrics were collected. Fusion at 1 yr was determined via assessment of computed tomography (CT) scan and x-rays. RESULTS: Mean follow-up was 18 mo. VAS neck and arm scores at last follow-up improved significantly from 7.9 ± 1.5 to 3.8 ± 2.3 and 7.24 ± 2.2 to 3.12 ± 2.5, respectively. NDI scores decreased from 65.1 ± 20.3 to 29.1 ± 17.9 at 18 mo. Fusion at 1 yr was confirmed by CT in all 17 patients with available scans and by x-ray in all 25 patients. CONCLUSION: Revision of cervical pseudarthrosis after ACDF using a tissue sparing posterior approach to place cages bilaterally between the facet joints is an effective surgical strategy in select cases. Along with positive clinical and radiological outcomes, the procedure is associated with less blood loss, shorter operating times, and briefer hospital stays compared to revision with lateral mass fixation or interspinous wiring.
Article
Background: Recent studies show increases in cervical spine surgery prevalence and cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) diagnoses in the US. However, few studies have examined outcomes for CSM surgical management, particularly on a nationwide scale. Objective: Evaluate national trends from 2001 to 2010 for CSM patient surgical approach, postoperative outcomes, and hospital characteristics. Methods: A retrospective nationwide database analysis provided by the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) including CSM patients aged 25+ who underwent anterior and/or posterior cervical fusion or laminoplasty from 2001 to 2010. Patients with fractures, 9+ levels fused, or any cancer were excluded. Measures included demographics, hospital data, and procedure-related complications. Yearly trends were analyzed using linear regression modeling. Results: 54,348 discharge cases were identified. ACDF, posterior only, and combined anterior/posterior approach volumes significantly increased from 2001 to 2010 (98.62%, 303.07%, and 576.19%; respectively, p<0.05). However, laminoplasty volume remained unchanged (p>0.05). Total charges for ACDF, posterior only, combined anterior/posterior, and laminoplasty approaches all significantly increased (138.72%, 176.74%, 182.48%, and 144.85%, respectively; p<0.05). For all procedures, overall mortality significantly decreased by 45.34% (p=0.001) and overall morbidity increased by 33.82% (p=0.0002). For all procedures except ACDF, which saw a significantly decrease by 8.75% (p<0.0001), length of hospital stay was unchanged. Conclusions: For CSM patients between 2001 and 2010, combined surgical approach increased sixfold, posterior only approach increased threefold, and ACDF doubled; laminoplasties without fusion volume remained the same. Mortality decreased whereas morbidity and total charges increased. Length of stay decreased only for ACDF approach. This study provides clinically useful data to direct future research, improving patient outcomes.
Article
Authors have developed a simple, disposable instrument set for posterior cervical fusion (PCF). The instruments and technique minimize soft tissue disruption and facilitate access for cervical facet joint cartilage decortication. Technique is proposed for select patients not requiring laminectomy.
Article
Background Indirect posterior cervical nerve root decompression and fusion performed by placing bilateral posterior cervical cages in the facet joints from a posterior approach has been proposed as an option to treat select patients with cervical radiculopathy. The purpose of this study was to report 2-year clinical and radiologic results of this treatment method. Methods Patients who failed nonsurgical management for single-level cervical radiculopathy were recruited. Surgical treatment involved a posterior approach with decortication of the lateral mass and facet joint at the treated level followed by placement of the DTRAX Expandable Cage (Providence Medical Technology, Lafayette, California, United States) into both facet joints. Iliac crest bone autograft was mixed with demineralized bone matrix and used in all cases. The Neck Disability Index (NDI), visual analog scale (VAS) for neck and arm pain, and SF-12 v.2 questionnaire were evaluated preoperatively and 2 years postoperatively. Segmental (treated level) and overall C2–C7 cervical lordosis, disk height, adjacent segment degeneration, and fusion were assessed on computed tomography scans and radiographs acquired preoperatively and 2 years postoperatively. Results Overall, 53 of 60 enrolled patients were available at 2-year follow-up. There were 35 females and 18 males with a mean age of 53 years (range: 40–75 years). The operated level was C3–C4 (N = 3), C4–C5 (N = 6), C5–C6 (N = 36), and C6–C7 (N = 8). The mean preoperative and 2-year scores were NDI: 32.3 versus 9.1 (p < 0.0001); VAS Neck Pain: 7.4 versus 2.6 (p < 0.0001); VAS Arm Pain: 7.4 versus 2.6 (p < 0.0001); SF-12 Physical Component Summary: 34.6 versus 43.6 (p < 0.0001), and SF-12 Mental Component Summary: 40.8 versus 51.4 (p < 0.0001). No significant changes in overall or segmental lordosis were noted after surgery. Radiographic fusion rate was 98.1%. There was no device failure, implant lucency, or surgical reinterventions. Conclusions Indirect decompression and posterior cervical fusion using an expandable intervertebral cage may be an effective tissue-sparing option in select patients with single-level cervical radiculopathy.
Article
OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to report the long-term clinical outcomes following 3- and 4-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). METHODS A retrospective review of all adult neurosurgical patients undergoing elective ACDF for degenerative disease at a single institution between 1996 and 2013 was performed. Patients who underwent first-time 3- or 4-level ACDF were included; patients with previous cervical spine surgery, those undergoing anterior/posterior approaches, and those with corpectomy were excluded. Outcome measures included perioperative complication rates, fusion rates, need for revision surgery, Nurick Scores, Odom's criteria, symptom resolution, neck visual analog scale (VAS) pain score, and persistent narcotics usage. RESULTS Seventy-one patients who underwent 3-level ACDF and 26 patients who underwent 4-level ACDF were identified and followed for an average of 7.6 ± 4.2 years. There was 1 case (3.9%) of deep wound infection in the 4-level group and 1 case in the 3-level group (1.4%; p = 0.454). Postoperatively, 31% of patients in the 4-level group complained of dysphagia, compared with 12.7% in the 3-level group (p = 0.038). The fusion rate was 84.6% after 4-level ACDF and 94.4% after 3-level ACDF (p = 0.122). At last follow-up, a significantly higher proportion of patients in the 4-level group continued to have axial neck pain (53.8%) than in the 3-level group (31%; p = 0.039); the daily oral morphine equivalent dose was significantly higher in the 4-level group (143 ± 97 mg/day) than in the 3-level group (25 ± 10 mg/day; p = 0.030). Outcomes based on Odom's criteria were also different between cohorts (p = 0.044), with a significantly lower proportion of patients in the 4-level ACDF group experiencing an excellent/good outcome. CONCLUSIONS In this study, patients who underwent 4-level ACDF had significantly higher rates of dysphagia, postoperative neck pain, and postoperative narcotic usage when compared with patients who underwent 3-level ACDF. Pseudarthrosis and deep wound infection rates were also higher in the 4-level group, although this did not reach statistical significance. Additionally, a smaller proportion of patients achieved a good/excellent outcome in the 4-level group than in the 3-level group. These findings suggest a significant increase of perioperative morbidity and worsened outcomes for patients who undergo 4- versus 3-level ACDF.
Article
Many unanswered questions remain regarding axial and radicular neck pain. The source of pain is readily identified in a small percentage of patients. The prevalence of anatomic abnormalities in asymptomatic patients prevents diagnosis based on altered anatomy alone. The study of pain pathophysiology is in its infancy. Much work remains before physicians fully understand this perplexing issue.
Article
Summary An epidemiological survey of cervical radiculopathy in Rochester, Minnesota, 1976–90, through the records-linkage system of the Mayo Clinic ascertained 561 patients (332 males and 229 females). Ages ranged from 13 to 91 years; the mean age ±SD was 47.6±13.1 years for males and 48.2±13.8 years for females. A history of physical exertion or trauma preceding the onset of symptoms occurred in only 14.8% of cases. A past history of lumbar radiculopathy was present in 41%. The median duration of symptoms prior to diagnosis was 15 days. A monoradiculopathy involving C7 nerve root was the most frequent, followed by C6. A confirmed disc protrusion was responsible for cervical radiculopathy in 21.9% of patients; 68.4% were related to spondylosis, disc or both. During the median duration of follow-up of 4.9 years, recurrence of the condition occurred in 31.7%, and 26% underwent surgery for cervical radiculopathy. A combination of radicular pain and sensory deficit, and objective muscle weakness were predictors of a decision to operate. At last follow-up 90% of our population-based patients were asymptomatic or only mildly incapacitated due to cervical radiculopathy. The average annual age-adjusted incidence rates per 100 000 population for cervical radiculopathy in Rochester were 83.2 for the total, 107.3 for males and 63.5 for females. The age-specific annual incidence rate per 100 000 population reached a peak of 202.9 for the age group 50–54 years.
Article
The posterior cervical foraminotomy (PCF) may be performed using an open or minimally invasive approach using a tubular retractor. Although there are theoretical advantages such as less blood loss, shorter hospitalizations there is no consensus in the literature regarding the best approach for treatment. This study is a meta-analysis assessing clinical outcomes of PCF treated with either an open or MIS approach using a tubular retractor. Systematic literature review and meta-analysis of English language studies for the treatment of cervical radiculopathy treated with foraminotomy. Pooled patient results from level I studies and level IV retrospective studies. Meta-analysis for clinical success as determined by Odom and Prolo's criteria, and VAS scores for arm and neck pain. A literature search of three databases was performed to identify investigations performed in the treatment of posterior cervical foraminotomy with an open or minimally invasive approach. The pooled results were performed by calculating the effect size based on logit event rate. Studies were weighted by the inverse of the variance, which included both within and between study error. Confidence intervals (CI) were reported at 95%. Heterogeneity was assessed using the Q statistic and I-squared, where I-squared is the estimate of the percentage of error due to between-study variation. The initial literature search resulted in 195 articles, of which twenty were determined as relevant on abstract review. An open foraminotomy approach was performed in six; similarly a minimally invasive approach was performed in three studies. The pooled clinical success rate was 92.7% (CI: 88.9;95.3) for open foraminotomy and 94.9% (CI: 90.5;97.4) for MIS foraminotomy, which was not statistically significant (p value = 0.418). The open group demonstrated relative homogeneity with Q value of 7.6 and I2 value of 34.3%; similarly the MIS group demonstrated moderate study heterogeneity with Q value of 4.44 and I2 value of 54.94%. Patients with symptomatic cervical radiculopathy from foraminal stenosis can be effectively managed with either a traditional open or MIS foraminotomy. There is no significant difference in the pooled outcomes between the two groups. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Article
Objective: A majority of the middle-aged population exhibit cervical spondylosis that may require decompression and fusion of the affected level. Minimally invasive cervical fusion is an attractive option for decreasing operative time, morbidity, and mortality rates. A novel device, the DTRAX facet screw system (Providence Medical) promises minimally invasive deployment resulting in decompression of the neuroforamen and interfacet fusion. Present study investigates the effectiveness of the device in minimizing intervertebral motion to promote fusion, decompression of the nerve root during bending activity, and performance of the implant to adhere to anatomy during repeated bending loads. Methods: We observed flexion, extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation range of motion in cadaver models of c-spine treated with DTRAX as stand-alone and supplementing anterior plating. DTRAX was deployed bilaterally at single levels. Specimens were placed at the limit of range-of-motion in flexion, extension, axial bending, and lateral bending. 3-D images of the foramen were taken and post-processed to quantify changes in foraminal area. Stand-alone DTRAX specimens were subjected to 30K cycles at 2 Hz of non-simultaneous flexion-extension and lateral bending under compressive load and xray imaged at regular cycle intervals for quantitative measurements of device loosening. Results: Stand-alone DTRAX increased specimen rigidity in all directions except extension. 86% of all deployments resulted in some level of foraminal distraction. Rate of effective distraction was maintained in flexed, extended, and axially rotated postures. Two specimens demonstrated no detectable implant loosening (<0.25 mm). Three showed unilateral sub-clinical loosening (0.4 mm maximum), and one had sub-clinical loosening bilaterally (0.5 mm maximum). Conclusion: Results of our study are comparable to previous investigations into the rigidity of other stand-alone minimally invasive technologies. DTRAX system effectively increased rigidity of the affected level comparable to predicate systems. Results of this study indicates DTRAX increases foraminal area in the cervical spine, and decompression is maintained during bending activities. Clinical studies will be necessary to determine whether the magnitude of decompression observed in this cadaveric study will effectively treat cervical radiculopathy; however, results of this study, taken in context of successful decompression treatments in the lumbar spine, are promising for the continued development of this product. Results of this biomechanical study are encouraging for the continued investigation of this device in animal and clinical trials, as they suggest the device is well fixated and mechanically competent.
Article
Study design: Retrospective review. Objective: To analyze the trends in complications and mortality after spinal fusions. Summary of background data: Utilization of spinal fusions has been increasing during the past decade. It is essential to evaluate surgical outcomes to better identify patients who benefit most from surgical intervention. Integration of empiric evidence from large administrative databases into clinical decision making is instrumental in providing higher-quality, evidence-based, patient-centered care. Methods: This study used Nationwide Inpatient Sample data from 2001 through 2010. Patients who underwent spinal fusions were identified using the CCS (Clinical Classifications Software) and ICD-9 (International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision) codes. Data on patient comorbidities, primary diagnosis, and postoperative complications were obtained via ICD-9 diagnosis codes and via CCS categories. National estimates were calculated using weights provided as part of the database. Time trend analysis for average length of stay, total charges, mortality, and comorbidity burden was performed. Univariate and multivariate models were constructed to identify predictors of mortality and postoperative complications. Results: An estimated 3,552,873 spinal fusions were performed in the United States between 2001 and 2010. The national bill for spinal fusions increased from $10 billion to $46.8 billion. Today, patients are older and have a greater comorbidity burden than 10 years ago. Mortality remained relatively constant at 0.46%, 1.2%, and 0.14% for cervical, thoracic, and lumbar fusions, respectively. Morbidity rates showed an increasing trend at all levels. Multivariate analysis of 19 procedures and patient-related risk factors and 9 perioperative complications identified 85 statistically significant (P< 0.01) interactions. Conclusion: The data on perioperative risks and risk factors for postoperative complications of spinal fusions presented in this study is pivotal to appropriate surgical patient selection and well-informed risk-benefit evaluation of surgical intervention. Level of evidence: N/A.
Article
After undergoing L5 hemilaminectomy, chromic gut suture was placed onto the DRG and the animals were sacrificed at various time-points. The purpose of this study was to identify the effects of inflammation on satellite cells (SCs) of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) by analyzing glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression in of the DRG at various time points. SCs are neuroglial cells that closely interact with nerve cells of the DRG. The role of SC remains unknown GFAP expression increases in response to CNS injury. Loss of GFAP has impaired Schwann cell proliferation and delayed nerve regeneration after injury. Sixty rats underwent a left L5 hemilaminectomy. In Group I, a chromic-gut suture was place topically on the DRG (n = 30), Group II was the sham surgery group (n = 30). DRGs were harvested at 6, 24, 48, 72 hours, and 7 days after surgery. In Group III, 6 control rats were killed and their bilateral L5 DRG harvested. The harvested DRG were analyzed using light microscopy for SC immunoreactivity, using GFAP, HIS-36, TNF-alpha, IL-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6 monoclonal antibodies. One hundred thirty-two DRGs were harvested for analysis. Naïve controls and neurons did not express GFAP. The SC sheath expressed GFAP as early as 6 hours postchromic gut application. In Group I, GFAP expression steadily increased after chromic-gut application with 100% of SC soma and SC sheaths being GFAP positive at 7 days. The contralateral DRG demonstrated delayed GFAP expression, with 83% of SC soma and SC sheaths were GFAP positive at 7 days. In Group II, 89% of sacs expressed GFAP by 7 compared to 79% in the contralateral undisturbed DRG. Under physiologic conditions, the expression of GFAP by SCs is undetectable. As the inflammatory process develops, GFAP expression steadily increases with 100% of SCs being GFAP immunoreactive 7 days after chromic gut application. These data suggest that SCs are the primary source of GFAP in the DRG. We hypothesize that SC play an important role in the response to early inflammatory injury.
Article
Corpectomy is widely used to treat cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM). However, when this technique alone is performed at 1 or 2 levels for a multisegmental involvement (3 or more vertebrae), the incidence of post-operative complications is high. The optimal treatment for multisegmental CSM is still debatable. The aim of this study was to assess clinical and radiological outcomes for patients with multisegmental CSM who underwent combined anterior and posterior (AP) surgical approaches. Forty adults (17 women and 23 men; age range, 41-76 y) treated at our center between 2004 and 2007 were reviewed retrospectively. Their neurological function was assessed at different times using the Nurick classification (Grades 0 [root symptoms only] to 5 [wheelchair- or bed-bound]). Patients' satisfaction with the surgery was evaluated using Odom's criteria (poor, fair, good, or excellent). Pre-operatively, 20% of patients were assessed as Nurick Grade 0, 60% as Grade 1, and 20% as Grade 2. At the 1-year follow-up, only 10% of patients were assessed as Grade 1. At 1 year after surgery, 85% of patients rated their satisfaction with the operation as "excellent" and 15% rated it as "good". These outcomes suggest that, when surgery is indicated and patients with multisegmental CSM are carefully selected, the combined AP approach yields symptom relief comparable to that of corpectomy alone and a lower incidence of post-operative complications.
Article
Anterior cervical fusion was initially described in the 1950s for cervical spondylotic radiculopathy. The indications for this procedure in the management of soft disc herniation have not been clearly defined. In addition, controversy exists as to whether a cervical soft herniation should be managed by an anterior approach or a posterior cervical laminotomy-foraminotomy. The authors report the results of a prospective study comparing anterior discectomy and fusion to posterior laminotomy-foraminotomy for the management of soft cervical disc herniation. Twenty-eight patients underwent anterior discectomy and fusion (Robinson horseshoe graft) while 16 patients underwent posterior laminotomy-foraminotomy. The disc herniations were classified into two types. Type I were single level anterolateral herniations (33 patients) while type II were central soft disc herniations (11 patients). Clinically, patients with type I herniations manifested signs and symptoms of radiculopathy while patients with type II herniations manifested signs of myelopathy or neck pain and bilateral upper extremity paresthesias in 4 patients. Confirmatory studies were myelography in 12 patients, myelography combined with computed tomography (CT) in 26 patients, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in 6 patients. For type I herniations, 17 patients underwent anterior fusion while 16 patients had a posterior laminotomy-foraminotomy. The 11 patients classified as type II herniation all underwent anterior discectomy and fusion. There were 27 men and 17 women. The age range was 21 to 52 years (mean, 41 years). The follow-up was 1.6 to 8.2 years (mean, 4.2 years).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Article
Prospective histologic comparison of perineural tissues from patients requiring decompression surgery for herniated intervertebral disc with those from cadaveric controls. To examine the significance of herniated intervertebral-disc-associated perineural vascular and fibrotic abnormalities with respect to back pain symptom generation. Previous cadaveric studies have demonstrated perineural vascular congestion, dilatation, and thrombosis and perineural and intraneural fibrosis occurring in association with herniated intervertebral disc. It was suggested that these neural abnormalities were the result of ischemia, due to venous outflow obstruction, and also represented a possible cause of ongoing back pain symptoms. Criticisms of such a conclusion arose, however, because the possibility could not be excluded that these abnormalities were the result of postmortem artifact. Histologic and immunohistochemical comparison of discal and peridiscal tissues removed from 11 patients with radiographically proven herniated intervertebral disc requiring decompressive surgery and from 6 fresh cadavers without history of back pain in life. Histology and immunohistochemistry of perineural and extraneural tissues from patients revealed vascular congestion, neovascularization, and endothelial abnormalities including luminal platelet adhesion, in association with reductions in von Willebrand factor levels, together with perivascular and perineural fibrosis. Elevated fibrogenic cytokine concentrations were also detected in patients' tissues. These changes occurred without evidence of inflammation and were absent in cadaveric control tissues. The vascular abnormalities detected in patients may represent an important etiopathologic factor predisposing to intraneural and perineural fibrosis, and hence to chronic pain symptoms, after disc herniation. It seems important to preserve the perineural microcirculation following disc herniation.
Article
A prospective study of 15 patients who underwent modified Smith-Robinson anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at three or four operative levels stabilized with an unicortical anterior plate. To provide medium-term follow-up data on the surgical success and patient outcome of three- and four-level anterior cervical discectomies and fusions and to determine the effect that plate fixation has on the results. The success of arthrodesis for anterior cervical fusion depends on several factors, including the number of surgical levels. The arthrodesis rate and outcome for patients having three- and four-level discectomy and fusion procedures is disappointing. Internal fixation putatively improves these parameters. Fifteen patients (average age, 51 years; range, 35-77), were observed for an average of 42 months (range, 25-73) All had an anterior discectomy, burring of the endplates, placement of an autogenous tricortical iliac crest graft at three (12 patients) or four (3 patients) levels, and application of a Cervical Spine Locking Plate. All patients had follow-up office visits with examinations and radiographs. Radiographic union, postoperative pain relief, and neurologic recovery were evaluated. Solid arthrodesis was achieved at all levels in only 7 (47%) of the 15 patients after a single procedure. Of the 8 patients with pseudarthrosis, 3 had sufficient pain to necessitate revision surgery (with pain relief in two), 1 had pain without further surgery, and 4 no pain. Of the 7 with solid fusion, 3 had persistent pain, and 4 had none. Two in this group had a second procedure. All 4 patients with preoperative myelopathy improved, and 10 of the 11 with radiculopathy had resolution of arm symptoms. Three- and four-level modified Robinson cervical discectomy and fusion results in an unacceptably high rate of pseudarthrosis. The Cervical Spine Locking Plate alone does not appear to improve the arthrodesis rate.
Article
An increased rate of pseudarthrosis has been documented following posterolateral lumbar spine grafting in patients who smoke. This same relationship has been assumed for anterior cervical interbody grafting, but to our knowledge it has never been proven. This study compared the long-term radiographic and clinical results of smokers and nonsmokers who had undergone arthrodesis with autogenous bone graft following multi-level anterior cervical decompression for the treatment of cervical radiculopathy or myelopathy, or both. One hundred and ninety patients were followed clinically and radiographically for at least two years (range, two to fifteen years). Fifty-nine of the patients had corpectomy with strut-grafting, and 131 patients had multiple discectomies and interbody grafting. Fifty-five of the 190 patients had a history of active cigarette-smoking; fifteen of the fifty-five had corpectomy with strut-grafting, and forty had multilevel discectomies and interbody grafting. Internal fixation was not used in any patient. The reconstruction techniques and postoperative bracing regimen were similar between smokers and nonsmokers. Osseous union was judged on dynamic lateral radiographs made at least two years following surgery, and clinical outcomes were judged on the basis of pain level, medication usage, and daily activity level. Of the forty smokers who had undergone multilevel interbody grafting, twenty had a solid fusion at all levels, whereas sixty-nine of the ninety-one nonsmokers had solid fusion at all levels (p < 0.02; chi-square test). This difference was especially pronounced among patients who had had a two-level interbody grafting procedure (p < 0.002; chi-square test). With the numbers available, there was no difference in the rate of fusion between smokers (fourteen of fifteen) and nonsmokers (forty-one of forty-four) who had undergone corpectomy and strut-grafting, as 93% of both groups had a solid union. In addition, clinical outcomes were significantly worse among smokers when compared with nonsmokers (p < 0.03; rank-sum analysis). Smoking had a significant negative impact on healing and clinical recovery after multilevel anterior cervical decompression and fusion with autogenous interbody graft for radiculopathy or myelopathy. Since smoking had no apparent effect upon the healing of autogenous iliac-crest or fibular strut grafts, subtotal corpectomy and autogenous strut-grafting should be considered when a multilevel anterior cervical decompression and fusion is performed in patients who are unable or unwilling to stop smoking prior to surgical treatment.
Article
In this report the author presents surgery-related outcomes after application of a new technique. A posterior microendoscopic laminoforaminotomy was used for the surgical treatment of unilateral cervical radiculopathy secondary to intervertebral disc herniations and/or spondylotic foraminal stenosis. The results of this procedure are compared with those achieved using traditional laminoforaminotomy and anterior cervical discectomy with or without fusion. One hundred consecutive patients who experienced unilateral cervical radicular syndromes, which were refractory to conservative therapy, and in whom imaging studies had confirmed lateral canal or foraminal compression, underwent surgical treatment. An endoscopy-assisted posterior laminoforaminotomy was performed using a microendoscopic visualization system for removal of herniated disc and foraminal decompression while the patient was in the sitting position. Excellent or good results were obtained in 97 patients. who returned to their preoperative employment and baseline level of physical activity. One patient returned to work but was unable to perform at baseline level; two patients returned to prior sedentary work but continued to have some activity-related pain and paresthesias. Two patients reported experiencing intermittent paresthesias or numbness, but this did not limit their activities. There were two cases of dural punctures, one case of superficial wound infection, and no deaths. The microendoscopic posterior laminoforaminotomy is an effective alternative for the treatment of unilateral cervical radiculopathy secondary to lateral or foraminal disc herniations or spondylosis. In this group of patients, it is preferable because it does not require the sacrifice of a cervical motion segment, has a low incidence of complications, and is associated with a much quicker return to unrestricted full activity than that obtained with other techniques.
Article
We have previously reported the feasibility of using the microendoscopic foraminotomy (MEF) technique in a cadaveric study. We now report our initial clinical experience with this novel technique. From March 1998 to January 2001, we prospectively used the MEF technique in 25 patients with cervical root compression from either foraminal stenosis or disc herniation. The patients' demographic, clinical presentation, surgical, and outcome data were recorded. Another 26 patients treated via open cervical laminoforaminotomy were used for comparison. MEF cases involved less blood loss (138 versus 246 ml per level). MEF patients recovered more rapidly, had a shorter postoperative stay (20 versus 68 hours), and needed fewer narcotics (11 versus 40 equivalents). There were two durotomies after MEF. Overall, our initial experience with the MEF procedure yielded symptomatic improvement for approximately 87 to 92% of patients, depending on which symptom was analyzed. After MEF (mean follow-up, 16 mo; minimum follow-up, 1 year), patients with radiculopathy experienced resolution of their symptoms in 54%, improvement in 38%, and no change in 8% of cases. For open surgery, radiculopathy resolved in 48%, improved in 40%, and remained unchanged in 12%. For neck pain, the MEF results were 40% resolved, 47% improved, and 13% unchanged. Open results for neck pain were 33% resolved, 56% improved, and 11% unchanged. Overall, there was no significant difference in outcomes between the groups. The MEF technique yielded clinical results equivalent to those of the open surgical group as well as to those described in the literature. MEF patients, however, had less blood loss, shorter hospitalizations, and a much lower postoperative pain medication requirement.
Article
The ideal surgical treatment of multilevel cervical spondylosis remains unclear. This study analyzed the complications in using titanium cages and plating to reconstruct multilevel cervical corpectomies. This was a retrospective analysis of 21 consecutive patients who had multilevel cervical corpectomies and reconstruction with titanium cages and anterior plating. Sixteen had 2-level, one had 2.5-level, three had 3-level, and one had 3.5-level corpectomies. All had reconstruction with titanium cages and anterior plating. Thirty-three percent of the patients developed complications. Radiographs revealed bony consolidation in 95% of patients. Reconstructing multilevel cervical corpectomies with titanium cages and plating is associated with complications. Advantages include rigid immobilization and the avoidance of iliac crest bone graft harvesting. Major complications are largely the result of failures of the cage and plate construct, especially in patients with osteopenic bone. Supplemental posterior stabilization may be considered for cases with spasticity or greater than 2-level corpectomies with profound osteoporosis.
Article
Lumbar arthrodesis is commonly done in elderly patients to treat degenerative spine problems. These patients may be at increased risk for complications because of their age and associated medical conditions. In this study, we examined the rates of perioperative complications associated with posterior lumbar decompression and arthrodesis in patients sixty-five years of age or older. We reviewed the hospital records of ninety-eight patients who were sixty-five years of age or older when they had a posterior decompression and lumbar arthrodesis with instrumentation, between 1993 and 1995, to treat degenerative disease of the spine. The average age was seventy-two years (range, sixty-five to eighty-four years). Perioperative complications occurred in seventy-eight patients. Twenty-one patients had at least one major complication, and sixty-nine had at least one minor complication. Forty-nine patients had more than one complication. The most common major complication was wound infection (prevalence, 10%), and the most common minor complication was urinary tract infection (prevalence, 34%). The complication rate increased with older age, increased blood loss, longer operative time, and the number of levels of the arthrodesis. Surgeons should be vigilant about perioperative complications in elderly patients treated with multi-level lumbar decompression and arthrodesis with instrumentation. Elderly patients should be made aware that they are at increased risk for surgical complications because of their age. Attention should be paid to controlling blood loss and limiting operative time.
Article
A POSTERIOR FORAMINOTOMY (hemilaminotomy and medial facetectomy) is indicated for the treatment of nerve root compression secondary to posterolateral disc herniation or spondylotic foraminal stenosis. We describe the normal and pathological anatomy of the cervical neural foramen as well as our surgical technique, which has been highly effective in cases of cervical discogenic radiculopathy.
Article
Three outcome measures, Nurick grades, Odom's criteria, and the Short Form (SF-36) were analyzed following circumferential cervical surgery in 47 patients. To analyze three outcome measures following circumferential surgery. Few studies use multiple outcome criteria to assess circumferential surgery. Patients averaged 54 years of age and exhibited severe myelopathy (Nurick grade 3.6). Corpectomies of 2.6 vertebrae (on average) were followed by posterior fusions (C2-T1) with halo stabilization. Initial fixed-plates (n = 28) and subsequent dynamic ABC plates (Aesculap, Tuttlingen, Germany) (n = 19) were applied, Fusion was confirmed on dynamic radiographs and two-dimensional CT studies 3, 6, and up to 12 months after surgery. Nurick grades and Odom's criteria were evaluated 1 and 2 years after surgery. Results of SF-36 questionnaires, obtained before surgery, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years after surgery, were calculated. Neurodiagnostic studies confirmed fusion on average 5.0 months after surgery. One and 2 years after surgery, mean Nurick grades were 0.8 (+2.8 points) and 0.4 (+3.2 points), respectively. One year (2 years) postoperative Odom's criteria revealed excellent 26 (30), good 14 (11), fair 6 (5), and poor 1 (1) patient outcomes. Comparing preoperative with 1-year postoperative SF-36 questionnaires revealed moderate improvement on 5 health scales: Social Function (+19.9), Bodily Pain (+19.6), Role-Physical (+18.8), Physical Function (+12.5), and Role-Emotional (+11.1). Minimal additional improvement occurred over the second year: Role-Physical (+21.6), Social Function (+16.4), Bodily Pain (+13.4), Physical Function (+12.8), and Role Emotional (+9.5). Based on three outcome measures, the greatest improvement occurs 1 year following circumferential surgery.
Article
Background context: The surgical management of patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) remains challenging. Purpose: To review the indications, techniques, and results of circumferential fusion for CSM. Conclusion: Circumferential decompression and stabilization with instrumentation is a viable option to treat selected complex cervical spine disorders. It provides immediate stabilization of the spine, decreases anterior graft and instrumentation failure, and can obviate the need for postoperative halo immobilization.
Article
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the incidence of osteoporosis in patients requiring spine surgery. Among patients older than 50 years, the rate of osteoporosis in males was 14.5% and the rate osteoporosis in females was 51.3%. We strongly recommend an evaluation and treatment for osteoporosis in the patients requiring spine surgery, especially in females over 50 years old. Because lifespan is increasing, there is an increase in the incidence of osteoporosis in elderly spine surgery patients. The osteoporosis may adversely influence the fusion rate and the surgical outcome. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the incidence of osteoporosis in patients requiring spine surgery. A total of 1,321 patients underwent spine surgeries at our institute from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2005. Among them, there were 562 patients (42.5%) younger than 50 years old, and 759 patients (57.6%) older than 50 years old. Prior to operation, we evaluated the patients for osteoporosis on both the femur head and lumbar spine by measuring the bone mineral density (BMD) by the dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Based on the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for osteoporosis, we chose the T-score to determine normal (>-1), osteopenia (-1>or=, >-2.5), and osteoporosis (<or=-2.5). Among the 562 patients younger than 50 years, DXA was performed in 22 (3.9%) patients and there were 13 (2.3%) cases of osteopenia and 2 (0.3%) cases of osteoporosis. Among 759 patients older than 50 years, DXA was performed on 516 (68.0%) patients, 193 males and 323 females. Among the male patients, there were 89 (46.1%) patients with osteopenia and 28 (14.5%) with osteoporosis. Among the female patients, there were 134 (41.4%) with osteopenia and 166 (51.3%) with osteoporosis. The incidence of osteoporosis was higher in female patients and significantly increased with increasing age. Among 759 patients older than 50 years, 676 patients underwent a major spine operation with or without fusion. Among these patients, DXA was performed in 446 (66.0%) patients and there were 207 (46.4%) patients with osteopenia and 139 (31.1%) with osteoporosis. The patients over 50 year-old who need spine operation have osteoporosis often. In conclusion, the number of spine operations in elderly patients is increasing and the incidence of osteoporosis in spine surgery patients is also increasing. We strongly recommend an evaluation for osteoporosis and post-operative treatment for osteoporosis in patients over 50 years old, especially for female patients.