Adjacent segment disease following cervical spine surgery

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2013 Jan;21(1):3-11. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-21-01-3.


Cervical spine surgery is broadly divided into fusion and nonfusion procedures. Anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a common procedure, although adjacent segment disease following the surgery is an ongoing clinical concern. Adjacent segment cervical disease occurs in approximately 3% of patients per year, with an expected incidence of 25% within the first 10 years following fusion. Nonfusion procedures such as anterior diskectomy and posterior foraminotomy do not decrease the rate of adjacent segment disease compared with ACDF. Recently, enthusiasm has developed for artificial disk replacement as a motion-sparing alternative to fusion. To date, however, multiple clinical trials and subsequent follow-up studies have failed to demonstrate significant reduction of adjacent segment disease when artificial disk replacement is performed instead of fusion.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cervical Vertebrae* / physiopathology
  • Cervical Vertebrae* / surgery
  • Diskectomy / methods
  • Foraminotomy
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc Degeneration / etiology*
  • Intervertebral Disc Degeneration / physiopathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Spinal Fusion / adverse effects*