This was a retrospective cohort.
The objective of this study was to determine if instrumentation across the cervicothoracic junction (CTJ) in elective multilevel posterior cervical decompression and fusion (PCF) is associated with improved patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs).
Summary of Background Data:
Fusion across the CTJ may result in lower revision rates at the expense of prolonged operative duration. However, it is unclear whether constructs crossing the CTJ affect PROMs.
Materials and Methods:
Standard Query Language (SQL) identified patients with PROMs who underwent elective multilevel PCF (≥3 levels) at our institution. Patients were grouped based on anatomic construct: crossing the CTJ (crossed) versus not crossing the CTJ (noncrossed). Subgroup analysis compared constructs stopping at C7 or T1. Independent t tests and χ2 tests were utilized for continuous and categorical data, respectively. Regression analysis controlled for baseline demographics. The α was set at 0.05.
Of the 160 patients included, the crossed group (92, 57.5%) had significantly more levels fused (5.27 vs. 3.71, P<0.001), longer operative duration (196 vs. 161 min, P=0.003), greater estimated blood loss (242 vs. 160 mL, P=0.021), and a decreased revision rate (1.09% vs. 10.3%, P=0.011). Neither crossing the CTJ (vs. noncrossed) nor constructs spanning C3–T1 (vs. C3–C7) were independent predictors of ∆PROMs (change in preoperative minus postoperative patient-reported outcomes) on regression analysis. However, C3–C7 constructs had a greater revision rate than C3–T1 constructs (15.6% vs. 1.96%, P=0.030).
Crossing the CTJ in patients undergoing elective multilevel PCF was not an independent predictor of improvement in PROMs at 1 year, but they experienced lower revision rates.
Level of Evidence: