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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 222-230

Risk factors for 30-day outcomes in elective anterior versus posterior cervical fusion: A matched cohort analysis

1 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, USA
2 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA
3 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Joseph D Ciacci
SDVAHS, University of California, 200 West Arbor Drive #8893, San Diego, CA 92103
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_88_17

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Objective: Cervical spine fusion is the preferred treatment modality for a variety of degenerative and/or myelopathic disorders. Surgeons select between two approaches (anterior or posterior cervical fusion [ACF; PCF]) based on pathoanatomical features and spinal levels involved. Complications and outcome profiles between the approaches following elective surgery have not been systematically investigated. Methods: Adult patients undergoing elective ACF or PCF were extracted from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program years 2011–2014. Five hundred twenty-eight patients (264 ACF and 264 PCF) were matched 1:1 by age, sex, functional status, vertebral levels operated, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists classification. Multivariable regression was performed by surgical approach for operation time, complications, hospital length of stay (HLOS), and discharge destination, controlling for body mass index and comorbidities. Mean differences (B), odds ratios (ORs), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) are reported. Results: Compared to ACF, PCF was associated with increased odds of blood transfusions >1 unit (OR = 4.31, 95% CI [1.18–15.75]; P = 0.027) and failure to discharge to home (OR = 3.68 [2.17–6.25]; P < 0.001), and increased mean HLOS (B = 1.72 days [1.19–2.26]; P < 0.001). No differences in operation time, other complications, or reoperation rates were found by surgical approach. Conclusions: In a matched cohort analysis by age, sex, functional and physical status, and vertebral levels, elective PCF is associated with increased HLOS and increased likelihood of failing to discharge to home compared to ACF without increased risk of 30-day complications. Increased blood transfusion volume is noted for patients undergoing PCF. Future prospective studies are warranted.

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