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This article is the author's final published version in International Journal of Spine Surgery, Volume 16, Issue 6, December 2022, Pages 960 - 968.

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Copyright © 2022 ISASS.


BACKGROUND: Surgeons have scrutinized spinal alignment and its impact on improving clinical outcomes following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). The primary analysis of this study examines the relationship between change in perioperative cervical lordosis (CL) and health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) outcomes after ACDF. Secondary analysis evaluates the effects of fusion construct length on outcomes in patients grouped by preoperative cervical alignment.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was performed on an institutional database including patients who underwent 1- to 3-level ACDF. C2-C7 CL was measured preoperatively and at final follow-up. For primary analysis, patients were classified based on their perioperative cervical lordotic correction: (1) kyphotic, (2) maintained, and (3) restored. For secondary analysis, patients were categorized based on their preoperative C2-C7 CL: (1) kyphotic, (2) neutral, and (3) lordotic. Demographics and perioperative change in patient-reported outcome measures were compared between groups.

RESULTS: A total of 308 patients were included. A significant difference was noted among maintained, restored, and kyphotic groups in terms of delta physical compositeshort form-12 score (ΔPCS-12) (9.0 vs 10.3 vs 1.5;

CONCLUSIONS: Significantly greater PCS-12 and VAS arm improvement were seen in patients whose cervical sagittal alignment was restored to neutral/lordotic compared with those who remained kyphotic. Multivariate analysis demonstrated no association between construct length and perioperative outcomes.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The results of this study highlight the importance of sagittal alignment and restoration of CL after short-segment ACDF. Irrespective of preoperative sagittal alignment, the length of ACDF fusion construct does not have a significant impact on clinical outcomes.

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