Incidence of dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery

A prospective study

Rajesh Bazaz, Michael J. Lee, Jung Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

346 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Study Design. A prospective longitudinal study was conducted to evaluate dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery. Objectives. To evaluate the incidence and natural history of dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery, and to identify risk factors for the development of post-operative dysphagia. Summary of Background Data. The literature contains only retrospective evaluations of postoperative dysphagia. A wide range of incidence has been reported in these studies. Methods. Altogether, 249 consecutive patients undergoing anterior cervical spine surgery were eligible for the study. These patients were contacted 1, 2, 6, and 12 months after the procedure to evaluate swallowing. Risk factors such as age, gender, procedure type, hardware use, and number and location of surgical levels addressed were assessed. Results. Dysphagia incidences of 50.2%, 32.2%, 17.8%, and 12.5% were found at 1, 2, 6, and 12 months, respectively. At 6 months after the procedure, only 4.8% of the patients were experiencing moderate or severe dysphagia. Patient age, type of procedure (corpectomy vs. discectomy or primary vs. revision), hardware presence, and location of surgical levels were not statistically significant risk factors for the development of postoperative dysphagia. Female gender was significant for increased risk of dysphagia at 6 months. Surgery at multiple disc levels increased the risk of postoperative dysphagia at 1 and 2 months. The etiology of the dysphagia in most of the patients was unknown. However, vocal cord paresis was identified in 1.3% of the patients at 12 months. Conclusions. Dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery is a common early finding. However, it decreases significantly by 6 months. The minority of patients experience moderate or severe symptoms by 6 months after the procedure. Female gender and multiple surgical levels could be identified as risk factors for the development of postoperative dysphagia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2453-2458
Number of pages6
JournalSpine
Volume27
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 2002

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Deglutition Disorders
Spine
Prospective Studies
Incidence
Vocal Cord Paralysis
Diskectomy
Deglutition
Longitudinal Studies

Keywords

  • Cervical spine surgery
  • Dysphagia
  • Hardware
  • Revision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this

Incidence of dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery : A prospective study. / Bazaz, Rajesh; Lee, Michael J.; Yoo, Jung.

In: Spine, Vol. 27, No. 22, 15.11.2002, p. 2453-2458.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bazaz, Rajesh ; Lee, Michael J. ; Yoo, Jung. / Incidence of dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery : A prospective study. In: Spine. 2002 ; Vol. 27, No. 22. pp. 2453-2458.
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title = "Incidence of dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery: A prospective study",
abstract = "Study Design. A prospective longitudinal study was conducted to evaluate dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery. Objectives. To evaluate the incidence and natural history of dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery, and to identify risk factors for the development of post-operative dysphagia. Summary of Background Data. The literature contains only retrospective evaluations of postoperative dysphagia. A wide range of incidence has been reported in these studies. Methods. Altogether, 249 consecutive patients undergoing anterior cervical spine surgery were eligible for the study. These patients were contacted 1, 2, 6, and 12 months after the procedure to evaluate swallowing. Risk factors such as age, gender, procedure type, hardware use, and number and location of surgical levels addressed were assessed. Results. Dysphagia incidences of 50.2{\%}, 32.2{\%}, 17.8{\%}, and 12.5{\%} were found at 1, 2, 6, and 12 months, respectively. At 6 months after the procedure, only 4.8{\%} of the patients were experiencing moderate or severe dysphagia. Patient age, type of procedure (corpectomy vs. discectomy or primary vs. revision), hardware presence, and location of surgical levels were not statistically significant risk factors for the development of postoperative dysphagia. Female gender was significant for increased risk of dysphagia at 6 months. Surgery at multiple disc levels increased the risk of postoperative dysphagia at 1 and 2 months. The etiology of the dysphagia in most of the patients was unknown. However, vocal cord paresis was identified in 1.3{\%} of the patients at 12 months. Conclusions. Dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery is a common early finding. However, it decreases significantly by 6 months. The minority of patients experience moderate or severe symptoms by 6 months after the procedure. Female gender and multiple surgical levels could be identified as risk factors for the development of postoperative dysphagia.",
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