Document Detail

Incidence of dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery: a prospective study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12435974     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
STUDY DESIGN: A prospective longitudinal study was conducted to evaluate dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the incidence and natural history of dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery, and to identify risk factors for the development of postoperative dysphagia. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: The literature contains only retrospective evaluations of postoperative dysphagia. A wide range of incidence has been reported in these studies. METHODS: Altogether, 249 consecutive patients undergoing anterior cervical spine surgery were eligible for the study. These patients were contacted 1, 2, 6, and 12 months after the procedure to evaluate swallowing. Risk factors such as age, gender, procedure type, hardware use, and number and location of surgical levels addressed were assessed. RESULTS: Dysphagia incidences of 50.2%, 32.2%, 17.8%, and 12.5% were found at 1, 2, 6, and 12 months, respectively. At 6 months after the procedure, only 4.8% of the patients were experiencing moderate or severe dysphagia. Patient age, type of procedure (corpectomy vs. discectomy or primary vs. revision), hardware presence, and location of surgical levels were not statistically significant risk factors for the development of postoperative dysphagia. Female gender was significant for increased risk of dysphagia at 6 months. Surgery at multiple disc levels increased the risk of postoperative dysphagia at 1 and 2 months. The etiology of the dysphagia in most of the patients was unknown. However, vocal cord paresis was identified in 1.3% of the patients at 12 months. CONCLUSIONS: Dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery is a common early finding. However, it decreases significantly by 6 months. The minority of patients experience moderate or severe symptoms by 6 months after the procedure. Female gender and multiple surgical levels could be identified as risk factors for the development of postoperative dysphagia.
Rajesh Bazaz; Michael J Lee; Jung U Yoo
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Spine     Volume:  27     ISSN:  1528-1159     ISO Abbreviation:  Spine     Publication Date:  2002 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-11-18     Completed Date:  2003-01-10     Revised Date:  2009-07-09    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7610646     Medline TA:  Spine (Phila Pa 1976)     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2453-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Spine Institute and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Deglutition Disorders / etiology*
Diskectomy / adverse effects*
Follow-Up Studies
Longitudinal Studies
Middle Aged
Postoperative Period
Prospective Studies
Risk Assessment
Risk Factors
Sex Factors
Spinal Diseases / surgery
Spinal Fusion / adverse effects*
Spine / surgery*
Treatment Outcome
Vocal Cord Paralysis / etiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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