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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 300-309

Anterior cervical osteophytes causing dysphagia: Choice of the approach and surgical problems


Department of Neurosciences and Reproductive and Odontostomatological Sciences, Neurosurgical Clinic, School of Medicine, University “Federico II”, Naples, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Giuseppe Teodonno
Department of Neurosciences and Reproductive and Odontostomatological Sciences, Neurosurgical Clinic, School of Medicine, University “Federico II”, Via Pansini, 5-80131 Napoli
Italy
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_147_20

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Background: Anterior cervical osteophytes (ACOs) may rarely cause dysphagia, dysphonia, and dyspnea. Symptomatic ACOs are most commonly located between C3 and C7, whereas those at higher cervical (C1–C2) levels are rarer. We report a case series of 4 patients and discuss the best surgical approach according to the ostheophyte location and size, mainly for those located at C1–C2, and the related surgical problems. Materials and Methods: Four patients (two males and two females) aged from 57 to 72 years were operated on for ACOs, causing variable dysphagia (and dyspnea with respiratory arrest in one). Three patients with osteophytes between C3 and C5 were approached through antero-lateral cervical approach, and one with a large osteophyte between C1 and C3–C4 level underwent a two-stage transcervical and transoral approach. All had significant postoperative improvement of dysphagia. Results: The patient operated on though the transoral approach experienced postoperative flogosis of the prevertebral tissues and occipital muscles and thrombosis of the right jugular vein and transverse-sigmoid sinuses (Lemierre syndrome). Conclusion: The transoral approach is the best surgical route to resect C1 and C2 ACOs, whereas the endoscopic endonasal approach is not indicated. The anterior transcervical approach is easier to resect osteophytes at C3, as well as those located below C3. A combined transoral and anterior cervical approach may be necessary for multilevel osteophytes.


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