STUDY DESIGN: A multicenter, retrospective review of C5 palsy after cervical spine surgery.
OBJECTIVE: Postoperative C5 palsy is a known complication of cervical decompressive spinal surgery. The goal of this study was to review the incidence, patient characteristics, and outcome of C5 palsy in patients undergoing cervical spine surgery.
METHODS: We conducted a multicenter, retrospective review of 13 946 patients across 21 centers who received cervical spine surgery (levels C2 to C7) between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2011, inclusive. P values were calculated using 2-sample t test for continuous variables and χ(2) tests or Fisher exact tests for categorical variables.
RESULTS: Of the 13 946 cases reviewed, 59 patients experienced a postoperative C5 palsy. The incidence rate across the 21 sites ranged from 0% to 2.5%. At most recent follow-up, 32 patients reported complete resolution of symptoms (54.2%), 15 had symptoms resolve with residual effects (25.4%), 10 patients did not recover (17.0%), and 2 were lost to follow-up (3.4%).
CONCLUSION: C5 palsy occurred in all surgical approaches and across a variety of diagnoses. The majority of patients had full recovery or recovery with residual effects. This study represents the largest series of North American patients reviewed to date.
Recommended CitationThompson, Sara E.; Smith, Zachary A.; Hsu, Wellington K.; Nassr, Ahmad; Mroz, Thomas E.; Fish, David E.; Wang, Jeffrey C.; Fehlings, Michael G.; Tannoury, Chadi A.; Tannoury, Tony; Tortolani, P. Justin; Traynelis, Vincent C.; Gokaslan, Ziya; Hilibrand, Alan S.; Isaacs, Robert E.; Mummaneni, Praveen V.; Chou, Dean; Qureshi, Sheeraz A.; Cho, Samuel K.; Baird, Evan O.; Sasso, Rick C.; Arnold, Paul M.; Buser, Zorica; Bydon, Mohamad; Clarke, Michelle J; De Giacomo, Anthony F.; Derakhshan, Adeeb; Jobse, Bruce; Lord, Elizabeth L.; Lubelski, Daniel; Massicotte, Eric M.; Steinmetz, Michael P.; Smith, Gabriel A.; Pace, Jonathan; Corriveau, Mark; Lee, Sungho; Cha, Peter I.; Chatterjee, Dhananjay; Gee, Erica L.; Mayer, Erik N.; McBride, Owen J.; Roe, Allison K.; Yanez, Marisa Y.; Stroh, D. Alex; Than, Khoi D.; and Riew, K. Daniel, "C5 Palsy After Cervical Spine Surgery: A Multicenter Retrospective Review of 59 Cases." (2017). Rothman Institute. Paper 89.
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