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Conor Dunn, Jeffrey Moore, Nikhil Sahai, Kimona Issa, Michael Faloon, Kumar Sinha, Ki Soo Hwang and Arash Emami

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to compare anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) and minimally invasive posterior cervical foraminotomy (MI-PCF) with tubes for the treatment of cervical radiculopathy in terms of the 1) overall revision proportion, 2) index and adjacent level revision rates, and 3) functional outcome scores.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of consecutive patients who had undergone ACDF or MI-PCF at a single institution between 2009 and 2014. Patients treated for cervical radiculopathy without myelopathy and with a minimum 2-year follow-up were compared according to the procedure performed for their pathology. Primary outcome measures included the overall rate of revision with fusion and overall revision proportion as well as the rate of index and adjacent level revisions per year. Secondarily, self-reported outcome measures—Neck Disability Index (NDI) and visual analog scale (VAS) for arm (VASa) and neck (VASn) pain—at the preoperative and postoperative evaluations were analyzed. Standard binomial and categorical comparative analyses were performed.

RESULTS

Forty-nine consecutive patients were treated with MI-PCF, and 210 consecutive patients were treated with ACDF. The mean follow-up for the MI-PCF cohort was 42.9 ± 6.6 months (mean ± SD) and for the ACDF cohort was 44.9 ± 10.3 months. There was no difference in the overall revision proportion between the two cohorts (4 [8.2%] of 49 MI-PCF vs. 12 [5.7%] of 210 ACDF, p = 0.5137). There was no difference in the revision rate per level per year (3.1 vs. 1.7, respectively, p = 0.464). Moreover, there was no difference in the revision rate per level per year at the index level (1.8 vs. 0.7, respectively, p = 0.4657) or at an adjacent level (1.3 vs. 1.1, p = 0.9056). Neither was there a difference between the cohorts as regards the change from preoperative to final postoperative functional outcome scores (NDI, VASa, VASn).

CONCLUSIONS

Minimally invasive PCF for the treatment of cervical radiculopathy demonstrates rates of revision at the index and adjacent levels similar to those following ACDF. In order to confirm the positive efficacy and cost analysis findings in this study, future studies need to extend the follow-up and show that the rate of revision with fusion does not increase substantially over time.

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Hong-Lei Yi, Michael Faloon, Stuart Changoor, Thomas Ross and Oheneba Boachie-Adjei

OBJECTIVE

Achieving fusion at the lumbosacral junction poses many technical challenges. No data exist in the literature comparing radiographic or clinical outcomes between the different surgical techniques of transsacral fixation (TSF) with rods and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) in conjunction with iliac fixation. The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical outcomes and radiographic fusions of TSF to TLIF in patients with adult spinal deformity undergoing long fusions across the lumbosacral junction.

METHODS

Patients with primary adult spinal deformity who underwent long fusions from the thoracic spine across the lumbosacral junction with different approaches of interbody fusion at the L5–S1 level were reviewed. Patients were subdivided by approach (TSF vs TLIF). Fusion status at L5–S1 was evaluated by multiple radiographs and/or CT scans. Scoliotic curve changes were also evaluated preoperatively and at final follow-up. Clinical outcomes were assessed by Scoliosis Research Society Outcome Instrument 22 and Oswestry Disability Index scores.

RESULTS

A total of 36 patients were included in the analysis. There were 18 patients in the TSF group and 18 patients in the TLIF group. A mean of 14.00 levels were fused in the TSF group and 10.94 in the TLIF group (p = 0.01). Both groups demonstrated significant postoperative radiographic improvement in coronal parameters. The fusion rates for TSF and TLIF groups were 100% and 88.9%, respectively (p < 0.05). Eight patients in the TSF group had pelvic fixation with unilateral iliac screws, compared to 15 patients in the TLIF group (p = 0.015). No statistical differences in patients’ reported outcomes were seen between groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Despite similar clinical and radiographic outcomes between both groups, TSF required fewer iliac screws to augment stability of the lumbosacral junction while achieving a higher rate of fusion. This study suggests that TSF may decrease potential instrument-related complications requiring revision while decreasing operating room time and implant-related costs.