Kevin A. Reinard, Diana M. Cook, Hesham M. Zakaria, Azam M. Basheer, Victor W. Chang, Muwaffak M. Abdulhak

June 2016, Volume 25, Issue 7, pp 2068 - 2077 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-016-4429-0

First Online: 14 March 2016


To identify risk factors that may lead to the development of dysphagia after combined anterior and posterior (360°) cervical fusion surgery.


A single center, retrospective analysis of patients who had same-day, 360° fusion at Henry Ford Hospital between 2008 and 2012 was performed. Variables analyzed included demographics, medical co-morbidities, levels fused, and degree of dysphagia.


The overall dysphagia rate was 37.7 %. Patients with dysphagia had a longer mean length of stay (p < 0.001), longer mean operative time (p < 0.001), greater intraoperative blood loss (p = 0.002), and fusion above the fourth cervical vertebra, C4, (p = 0.007). There were no differences in the rates of dysphagia when comparing patients undergoing primary or revision surgery (p = 0.554).


Prolonged surgery and fusion above C4 lead to higher rates of dysphagia after 360° fusions. Prior anterior cervical fusion does not increase the risk of dysphagia development.

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