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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 342-349

Perioperative complications in patients treated with posterior cervical fusion and bilateral cages

1 Department of Orthopedic, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
2 Department of Orthopedic, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA; Department of Spine Disorders and Children Orthopaedics, University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
3 Department of Orthopedic, Clark Memorial Hospital, Lafayette, USA
4 Halifax Health Medical Center, Daytona Beach, FL, USA
5 Brazos Spine Surgery, College Station, TX, USA
6 Western Regional Center For Brain and Spine, Las Vegas, NV, USA
7 Department of Orthopedic Spine Surgery, IN, USA
8 Department of Neurosurgery, Neuropsine Institute Medical Group, San Francisco, CA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Krzysztof B Siemionow
Department of Orthopaedics, College of Medicine, 835 South Wolcott Avenue, Room E270, Chicago, Illinois 60612
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_61_17

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Context: Posterior cervical cages have recently become available as an alternative to lateral mass fixation in patients undergoing cervical spine surgery. Aims: The purpose of this study was to quantify the perioperative complications associated with cervical decompression and fusion in patients treated with a posterior cervical fusion (PCF) and bilateral cages. Settings and Design: A retrospective, multicenter review of prospectively collected data was performed at 11 US centers. Subjects and Methods: The charts of 89 consecutive patients with cervical radiculopathy treated surgically at one level with PCF and cages were reviewed. Three cohorts of patients were included standalone primary PCF with cages, circumferential surgery, and patients with postanterior cervical discectomy and fusion pseudarthrosis. Follow-up evaluation included clinical status and pain scale (visual analog scale). Statistical Analysis Used: The Wilcoxon test was used to test the differences for the data. The P level of 0.05 was considered significant. Results: The mean follow-up interval was 7 months (range: 62 weeks - 2 years). The overall postsurgery complication rate was 4.3%. There were two patients with neurological complications (C5 palsy, spinal cord irritation). Two patients had postoperative complications after discharge including one with atrial fibrillation and one with a parietal stroke. After accounting for relatedness to the PCF, the overall complication rate was 3.4%. The average (median) hospital stay for all three groups was 29 h. Conclusions: The results of our study show that PCF with cages can be considered a safe alternative for patients undergoing cervical spine surgery. The procedure has a favorable overall complication profile, short length of stay, and negligible blood loss.

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