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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 96-100

Application and use of subcutaneous stay sutures in anterior cervical spine surgeries with a transverse neck incision: A technical report

Department of Orthopaedics, LTMMC and LTMGH, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rakesh Padmakar Dhake
Survey No 903, Plot No 26, “Chitrakut” Bunglow, Rane Nagar, Nashik - 422 009, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_153_17

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Objective/Purpose: The objective of this study is to describe our experience with the use of stay sutures and transverse neck incision for anterior cervical spine surgeries involving multiple levels. Summary of Background Data: Transverse incisions on neck usually heal with minimal fibrosis resulting in cosmetically acceptable scars whereas vertical incision, although provides greater exposure, heals with extensive fibrosis resulting in ugly scars. Transverse incision is thus highly recommended. However, the fear of nonextensibility of transverse incision for multilevel fusion has led to the preference of vertical incision, development of techniques for identifying the optimal level of the incision, or has suggested the usage of two transverse incisions. Materials and Methods: Seventy-six patients underwent anterior cervical spine surgeries using a transverse neck incision for single or multilevel discectomy/corpectomy and fusion. Having divided the platysma, dissection was carried down to the anterior surface of the cervical spine between the carotid sheath laterally and the trachea and esophagus medially. Stay sutures were taken through the platysma and subcutaneous tissue, converting the transverse incision into a quadrilateral window providing access for as much as three-level corpectomy or five levels of fixation. Results: All the wounds healed with no evidence of wound-related complications, leaving a cosmetically acceptable scar. Conclusion: Using appropriately placed stay sutures, a transverse neck incision taken in the middle of the field of work can provide enough of a surgical window to perform multilevel fusion surgeries. Its simplicity and cost-effectiveness make it easily implementable, addressing the underlying pathology adequately with best possible cosmetic results.

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