Length of stay associated with posterior cervical fusion with intervertebral cages: experience from a device registry

J Spine Surg. 2018 Jun;4(2):281-286. doi: 10.21037/jss.2018.05.27.


Background: Using a multi-center medical device registry, we prospectively collected a set of perioperative and clinical outcomes among patients treated with tissue-sparing, posteriorly-placed intervertebral cage fusion used in the management of symptomatic, degenerative neural compressive disorders of the cervical spine.

Methods: Cervical fusion utilizing posteriorly-placed intervertebral cages offers a tissue-sparing alternative to traditional instrumentation for the treatment of symptomatic cervical radiculopathy. A registry was established to prospectively collect perioperative and clinical data in a real-world clinical practice setting for patients treated via this approach. This study evaluated length of stay as well as estimated blood loss and procedural time in 271 registry patients.

Results: The median length of stay was 1.1, 1.1 and 1.2 days for patients having a stand-alone arthrodesis, revision of a pseudoarthrosis, and circumferential fusion (360°), respectively, and was not related to number of levels treated. Historical comparison to published literature demonstrated that average lengths of stay associated with open, posterior lateral mass fixation were consistently ≥4 days. Average blood loss (range, 32-75 mL) and procedural time (range, 51-88 min) were also diminished in patients having tissue-sparing, cervical intervertebral cage fusion compared to open posterior lateral mass fixation.

Conclusions: Adoption of this tissue-sparing procedure may offer substantial cost-constraining benefits by reducing the length of post-operative hospitalization by, at least, 3 days compared to traditional lateral mass fixation.

Keywords: CAVUX; Cervical fusion; DTRAX; cages; cervical radiculopathy; length of stay; minimally invasive surgery.