The group looked at their national insurance claims database between 2009 and 2014 for patients undergoing an ACDF for cervical spondylotic radiculopathy or myelopathy. They found that 1.21% of CSM patients at 3 months and 3.34% at 4 years had a further operation. Conversely patients with cervical radiculopathy, the rate was 0.58% at 3 months and 2.06% at 4 years, i.e. lower.
There are some significant limitations to this study, most notably this is only 4 years worth of follow up data and only following an ACDF operation. However in the context of our recent conversations it provides some ballpark figures to consider for an ACDF, a common operation used in the treatment of CSM.
The direct comparison to radiculopathy is also interesting. As a condition with the same degenerative causes (e.g. disc herniation, osteophyte formation etc) this difference raises some interesting discussion points, including are myelopathic patients less tolerant of degeneration? Is radiculopathy an earlier feature of degenerative spine disease?
1. Park et al Spine Reoperation rates after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion for cervical spondylotic radciulopathy and myelopathy Oct 2016
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