Late Radiographic Findings After Anterior Cervical Fusion for Spondylotic Myeloradiculopathy

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A retrospective study was performed to evaluate the radiographic changes that occurred at spinal levels adjacent to fused vertebrae after anterior cervical fusion. One hundred six patients with cervical spondylotic myeloradiculopathy (88 men, 18 women) were followed for an average of 8.5 years. The average age at follow-up was 64 years. Forty-two patients underwent a single-level fusion, 52 had a two-level fusion, and 12 had three Ievels fused. Seventeen patients who underwent additional surgery after anterior fusion also were reviewed, with an average Follow-up period of 2.3 years. Postoperatively, cervical flexion-extension resulted in significantly increased movement about the vertebral inters pace at the upper adjacent level. An increment of posterior slip of the vertebra immediately above the fusion level, with associated spinal canal compromise of less than 12 mm, significantly affected neurologic results. Patients with multilevel fusions notably exhibited these radiographic abnormalities at adjacent levels. Spinal canal stenosis, when associated with dynamic spinal canal stenosis In the vertebra above the Fusion level, affected late neurologic results. Results of salvage laminoplasty were not satisfactory. Unnecessarily extended longer fusion must be avoided.

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