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A Comparison of Short-Term Outcomes after Surgical Treatment of Multilevel Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy in the Geriatric Patient Population: An Analysis of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Database 2010-2020.

Asian Spine Journal 2024 March 9
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective review of the American College of Surgeons-National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database from 2010 to 2020.

PURPOSE: To compare the short-term complication rates of anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF), posterior cervical laminoplasty (LP), and posterior cervical laminectomy and fusion (PCF) in a geriatric population.

OVERVIEW OF LITERATURE: The geriatric population in the United States has increased significantly. Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) is caused by cervical spinal stenosis, and its prevalence increases with age. Therefore, the incidence of multilevel DCM requiring surgical intervention is likely to increase. ACDF, LP, and PCF are the most commonly used surgical techniques for treating multilevel DCM. However, there is uncertainty regarding the optimal surgical technique for the decompression of DCM in geriatric patients.

METHODS: Patients aged 65 years who had undergone either multilevel ACDF, LP, or PCF for the treatment of DCM were analyzed. Additional analysis was performed by standardizing the data for the American Society of Anesthesiologists classification scores and preoperative functional status.

RESULTS: A total of 23,129 patients were identified. Patients with ACDF were younger, more often female, and preoperatively healthier than those in the other two groups. The estimated postoperative mortality and morbidity, mean operation time, and length of hospital stay were the lowest for ACDF, second lowest for LP, and highest for PCF. The readmission and reoperation rates were comparable between ACDF and LP; however, both were significantly lower than PCF.

CONCLUSIONS: PCF is associated with the highest risk of mortality, morbidity, unplanned reoperation, and unplanned readmission in the short-term postoperative period in patients aged 65 years. In contrast, ACDF carries the lowest risk. However, some disease-specific factors may require posterior treatment. For these cases, LP should be included in the preoperative discussion when determining the ideal surgical approach for geriatric patients.

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