Outpatient spinal fusion vs. disc replacements: 5 key findings

A new study published in Spine compares outpatient cervical disc replacement with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.

The study authors examined 110 patient records — 55 who had total disc replacement and 55 who had spinal fusion — in an outpatient ASC. The study authors found:

1. There wasn't a statistically significant difference between the two groups in two-year visual analog scale neck or arm scores. The Neck Disability Index scores were also similar between the two groups.

2. The most common postoperative complication was dysphagia, which occurred in six patients in the same rate between both groups.

3. Patients in both groups reported significant improvement in the pain and disability scores, and there were no instances of serious complications.

4. The study authors concluded, "single-level TDR can be safely done in an ASC with satisfactory clinical and patient-reported outcomes."

5. Findings were comparable to previous two-year studies comparing spinal fusion and disc replacement in the outpatient setting.

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