Retrospective review of patients who underwent multilevel posterior cervical interfacet distraction and fusion (PCIDF) using cages for cervical spondylotic radiculopathy (CSR).
To determine clinical and radiographic outcomes following multilevel PCIDF.
Summary of Background Data.
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion has long been the standard of treatment for CSR. Advancements in surgery have employed minimally invasive techniques such as endoscopic discectomy, foraminotomy, and PCIDF. Studies on single-level PCIDF have reported good clinical outcomes, short hospital stays, and rare complications, but its application in multilevel disease is still evolving.
Patients with CSR and confirmed radiologic evidence of multilevel foraminal stenosis without central canal stenosis were reviewed. Two-year outcomes of multilevel PCIDF included Neck Disability Index, neck and arm Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), radiographic cervical alignment parameters, evidence of fusion, and incidence of adjacent segment degeneration were compared at different time points.
Thirty patients (mean age 54.6 ± 8.3) were included in the study with an average of 3.4 ± 0.8 levels treated. Mean surgical duration and intraoperative blood loss was 143.2 ± 69.7 minutes and 27.7 ± 28.7 mL, respectively, with an average length of stay at 1.8 ± 1.5 days. Neck Disability Index, VAS-neck, and VAS-arm all significantly improved at 2 weeks (P < 0.001) and was maintained until 2 years postoperatively. A significant decrease in segmental and C2-C7 lordosis, with a corresponding increase in sagittal vertical axis, was observed at 3 months postoperatively (P < 0.001) but did not deteriorate further on subsequent visits. Successful fusion was achieved in 90% of patients after 2 years. There was a 13.3% incidence of adjacent segment degeneration in the study cohort and one perioperative complication (3.3%).
Our study suggests that multilevel PCIDF is safe and effective for CSR caused by foraminal stenosis. However, its potential to cause kyphosis and clinical impact on global sagittal alignment requires further scrutiny and long-term evaluation.
Level of Evidence: 4