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CUNHA, Marcelo Lemos Vieira da et al. Complications of the anterior approach to the cervical spine. Coluna/Columna [online]. 2014, vol.13, n.3, pp.177-179. ISSN 1808-1851.


To evaluate the complications of anterior approach to the cervical spine in patients who underwent cervical arthrodesis with instrumentation.


Prospective and descriptive study was conducted from January 2009 to April 2010. All patients who underwent arthrodesis of the cervical spine by anterior approach were included, regardless the diagnosis. Access was made by the anterior approach on the right side. We evaluated the number of operated levels (1, 2 or 3 levels) and, the type of procedure performed: discectomy and placement of cage and plate (D+C+P), discectomy with placement of a cage (D+C) or corpectomy with placement of cage and plate (C+C+P). All complications related to surgical approach were reported.


We studied 34 patients, 70% male. The average age was 50 years and mean follow-up was 8 months. Eighteen percent of patients had complications, distributed as follows: dysphasia (33%) and dysphonic (67%). Among patients who developed complications, most underwent to D+C+P (83%) and no complications were found in patients where no cervical plate was used. Regarding levels, both complications were identified in patients operated to one or two levels. However, in patients operated on three levels, only dysphonia was identified.


The most frequent complication was dysphonia. Patients who presented more complications were those undergoing discectomy and fusion with cage and anterior cervical plate. All cases of dysphonia were in this group. The number of accessible levels does not seem to have affected the incidence of complications.

Keywords : Spine; Deglutition disorders; Dysphonia; Arthrodesis; Patients.

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