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World Neurosurg. 2017 Apr;100:7-14. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2016.12.125. Epub 2017 Jan 5.

Posterior Cervical Transfacet Fusion with Facetal Spacer for the Treatment of Single-Level Cervical Radiculopathy: A Randomized, Controlled Prospective Study.

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Neurological Center of Latium, Neurosurgery, Rome, Italy.
Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Neurosurgery, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Neurosurgery, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Rome, Italy. Electronic address:



Single-level cervical radiculopathy may be treated conservatively with cervical tractions. Posterior cervical transfacet fusion with a facetal spacer is a viable option. The aim of the present study is to compare posterior cervical transfacet fusion with conservative physical treatment in single-level cervical radiculopathy.


A total of 80 patients were randomized in 2 groups, a surgical group in which patients were given posterior cervical transfacet fusion and a traction group in which patients were treated conservatively with mechanical cervical tractions. Visual analog scale for arm and neck, Neck Disability Index, and Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaires were administered preoperatively and after treatment up to 12 months.


After treatment, visual analog scale arm scores were greater in traction group (4.7 vs. 1.5 the day after treatment) and at follow-up controls (traction group vs. surgical group: 5.3 vs. 0.6 at 1 month, 3.6 vs. 0.3 at 6 months, 1.8 vs. 0.2 at 12 months). Neck Disability Index scores were lower in the surgical group (surgical group vs. traction group: 4.4 vs. 20.3 at 1 month, 1.3 vs. 10.5 at 6 months). SF-36 scores were greater in the surgical group (surgical group vs. traction group: 96 vs. 70 at 1 month, 96.5 vs. 82.6 at 6 months). Neck disability index and SF-36 scores were superimposable between the groups at 12-month follow-up. No adjacent-segment arthrosis or late complications were reported at 1-year follow-up in the surgical group.


posterior cervical transfacet fusion is a safe and effective procedure to treat single-level cervical radiculopathy.


Cervical disc herniation; Cervical manipulation; Cervical radiculopathy; Cervical stenosis; Cervical transfacet fusion; Mechanical cervical traction; Minimally invasive surgery; Percutaneous cervical fusion; Posterior cervical fusion; Randomized controlled study

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