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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2005 Nov 15;30(22):2564-9.

Dysphagia after anterior cervical decompression and fusion: prevalence and risk factors from a longitudinal cohort study.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA. ehenze1@jhmi.edu

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

Retrospective analysis of the incidence and prevalence of dysphagia after anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF).

OBJECTIVES:

To examine the incidence and prevalence of dysphagia after ACDF, determine possible associated patient and procedural characteristics, and examine dysphagia's impact on long-term health status and function.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA:

Dysphagia is a common early complaint after ACDF, but the risk factors associated with its development are not understood.

METHODS:

Telephone surveys (Cervical Spine Outcomes Questionnaire) and clinical assessments (Oswestry Neck Disability Scale and SF-36) were used to evaluate 454 patients who had undergone ACDF at one of 23 nationwide sites for individual and procedure characteristics that might contribute to dysphagia.

RESULTS:

Of the 454 patients, 30% reported dysphagia at the 3-month assessment (incident cases). The incidence of new complaints of dysphagia at each follow-up point was 29.8%, 6.9%, and 6.6% at 3, 6, and 24 months, respectively. Dysphagia persisted at 6 and 24 months in 21.5% and 21.3% of patients, respectively. The risk of dysphagia increased with number of surgical vertebral levels at 3 months: 1 level, 42 of 212 (19.8%); 2 levels, 50 of 150 (33.3%); 3+ levels, 36 of 92 (39.1%). Patients reporting dysphagia at 3 months had a significantly higher self-reported disability and lower physical health status at subsequent assessments.

CONCLUSION:

Duration of preexisting pain and the number of vertebral levels involved in the surgical procedure appear to influence the likelihood of dysphagia after ACDF.

PMID:
16284596
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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