Instrumented Four-Level Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion: Long-Term Clinical and Radiographic Outcomes.

Soliman, M. A. R., A. F. Alkhamees, A. Khan, and A. Shamisa, "Instrumented Four-Level Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion: Long-Term Clinical and Radiographic Outcomes.", Neurology India, vol. 69, issue 4, pp. 937-943, 2021.


BACKGROUND: There is a paucity of data on outcomes following four-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusions (ACDFs), especially the sagittal balance (SB) parameters.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to review the long-term clinical and radiographic outcomes for 41 consecutive patients that underwent instrumented four-level ACDF.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Records of 27 men and 14 women, aged 40-68 years, who underwent instrumented four-level ACDF and plating at C3-C7 (n = 37) or C4-T1 (n = 4) were retrospectively analyzed. Clinical outcomes that were assessed were the visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, neck disability index (NDI), Odom's criteria, improvement of symptoms, intraoperative and postoperative complications, SB, and need for revision surgery.

RESULTS: The mean follow-up was 65 ± 36.3 months. The mean VAS for arm and neck pain significantly improved from 7.7 ± 1.4 to 3.5 ± 1.7 (P < 0.001). The NDI score significantly improved from 31 ± 8.2 to 19.3 ± 8.1 (P < 0.001). Concerning Odom's criteria, the grades were excellent (14), good (17), fair (9), and poor (1). Concerning intraoperative and postoperative complications, 10 cases developed dysphagia, 3 cases developed temporary dysphonia, 2 cases developed a postoperative hematoma, 1 patient developed C5 palsy, 1 vertebral artery (VA) injury, and 1 case had superficial infection. The average length of stay (LOS) was 2.9 ± 3.7 days. Three patients needed another surgery (one adjacent segment and two posterior foraminotomies). Regarding the mean change in SB parameters, Cobb's angle (CA) (C2-C7) was 14° ± 8.3°, fusion angle (FA) was 10.9 ± 10.9°, cervical straight vertical alignment (cSVA) was 0.6 ± 0.5 cm, T1 slope was 2.3° ± 3.4°, and disc height (DH) was 1.3 ± 0.9 mm.

CONCLUSION: Instrumented four-level ACDF is safe with a satisfactory outcome and supplementary posterior fusion was not required in any case.