Reoperation in Patients After Anterior Cervical Plate Stabilization in Degenerative Disease

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Abstract

Study Design.

Consecutive case retrospective chart review.

Objectives.

First, to assess whether the number of patients requiring a second cervical surgical intervention was changed as a result of using anterior cervical plate stabilization, and second, to determine the additional risks and/or benefits associated with the hardware implantation.

Summary of Background Data.

The optimal technique of performing stabilization, arthrodesis, and alignment of a cervical segment after discectomy with neural decompression in degenerative disease has yet to be determined.

Methods.

The charts of 402 patients who had undergone an anterior cervical discectomy and arthrodesis for degenerative disease performed both with and without anterior cervical plate stabilization were reviewed, and reoperation data were compiled. The average follow-up time was 3.8 years (range, 1.5-9.4 years).

Results.

Of 365 patients with 1- or 2-level cervical arthrodesis, 22 required a second surgical intervention (20 bone alone, 2 with anterior cervical plate stabilization). The Log-Rank test, which uses all patients and their total follow-up periods, was statistically significant favoring anterior cervical plate stabilization at one and two levels (P = 0.015).

Conclusions.

The addition of anterior cervical plate stabilization in one- and two-level cervical degenerative disease supplements the internal stabilization initially provided by the bone graft, and yields a lower reoperation rate.

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