Physician researchers conducted a prospective randomized controlled study to determine and explain differences in dysphagia between patients undergoing artificial disc replacement and anterior cervical decompression and fusion and published the results in Spine.
The study included 136 patients who received disc replacement or ACDF at one or two surgical levels and completed a questionnaire at four weeks, three months, one year and two years postoperatively.
The researchers found:
• Dysphagia was significantly higher than baseline levels in both groups at four weeks.
• Statistically significant difference between the groups only showed up at two years, when patients in the ACDF group showed significantly higher dysphagia levels.
• There was a stronger association to implant type than to number of surgical levels for dysphagia.
• The surgery duration was associated to the number of surgical levels but did not differ significantly between implant types.