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Controversy in spine care. Is fusion necessary after anterior cervical discectomy?

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Spine
0362-2436
Publisher
Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer) - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Publication Date
Volume
21
Issue
9
Pages
1111–1113
Identifiers
PMID: 8724101
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Anterior cervical discectomy is an effective and reliable treatment for nerve root or cord compression caused by disc herniation or spondylosis. Although physicians have traditionally included fusion as a part of this procedure, recent experience has suggested that this may not be necessary. Dr. Volker Sonntag and Dr. Peter Klara express opposing views on the need for fusion after discectomy and support their perspectives with clinical experience and a review of the pathoanatomy of disc disease. Dr. Sonntag believes that the majority of patients are well served with discectomy alone, avoiding the complications of graft harvest and potential nonunion. Dr. Klara feels that the interposed graft restores foraminal height and maintains cervical lordosis, both of which are important to a good outcome.

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