How effective is surgery for the treatment of cervical radiculopathy?

Updated: Oct 08, 2018
  • Author: Gerard A Malanga, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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Answer

A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials by Gutman et al reported that anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, cervical disc replacement and minimally invasive posterior cervical foraminotomy were all effective in treating cervical radiculopathy. Although cervical disc replacement had the lowest rate of secondary surgical procedures (P = 0.0178) and minimally invasive posterior cervical foraminotomy had the lowest percentage of adverse events (P < 0.0001), no single technique proved to be the most effective. [36]

A study that compared outcomes between the concepts of an artificial disc to treatment with anterior cervical decompression and fusion found that artificial disc replacement did not result in better outcome compared to treatment with anterior cervical decompression and fusion 2 years after surgery. [37]  A study by Engquist et al found that anterior cervical decompression and fusion combined with physiotherapy were more successful than physiotherapy alone in reducing neck pain and disability. [38]


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