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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 121-125

Early complications of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion: A case series

1 Department of Orthopedics, Jadria Private Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq
2 Department of Neurosurgery, Almustansiriyah College of Medicine, Baghdad, Iraq
3 Department of Orthopedics, Spine Surgeon Baquba Teaching Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq
4 Department of Orthopedics, Ahrar Specialist Hospital, Zagazig, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ghazwan A Hasan
Jadria Private Hospital, Baghdad
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmsr.jmsr_18_18

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Objectives: Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a common procedure in cervical degenerative disorders and cervical trauma patients. However, this procedure and approach are associated with peri- and post-operative complications. This study aims to report peri- and early postoperative complications occurred during ACDF and also tries to find any relation between dysphagia and plating, smoking, or age. Methods: This is a multicentric prospective study conducted on 165 patients; 116 males (70.3%) and 49 females (29.7%); their age range was 33—61 years (mean age, 42.5 years). The study started from January 2013 to February 2017. The follow-up was for 6 weeks, and we evaluated the clinical and radiographic signs of complications. Results: Fifty-seven patients (34.5%) had transient dysphagia and two patients (1.2%) each had a dural tear, surgical-site infection, and postoperative hematoma. One patient (0.6%) each had an esophageal injury, slippage of the cage, Brown—Sequard syndrome, acute implant extrusion, and Horner syndrome. No patient had a recurrent laryngeal nerve injury. The risk factors for dysphagia include female sex, multilevel surgery, plating, and smoking, most of the dysphagic symptoms were mild in severity and lasted <6 weeks. Conclusion: Not all complications of ACDF require surgical intervention, and most of them could be treated nonoperatively with careful follow-up. Our results are comparable with what was reviewed in the literature. The incidence of complications is increased with more than one-level fusion and in multiple comorbid disorders (including diabetes mellitus and smoking). Most of the postoperative dysphagic symptoms are mild and last <6 weeks.

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