The Role of Preoperative Therapies in Recovery from Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion Surgery for Cervical Radiculopathy

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University of New Brunswick


Background: Cervical Radiculopathy is caused by compression of cervical nerve roots leading to pain and disability of the neck and arms. The role of preoperative therapies on outcomes following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion surgery is unknown. Aim: To identify associations between common preoperative therapies and postoperative pain and disability. The preoperative therapies investigated are anti-convulsant and opioid pain medication, spinal injections, physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment, and regular exercise. Study Design: Longitudinal analysis of prospectively collected data from 352 patients. Study outcomes: Neck pain, arm pain, and neck pain-related disability measured preoperatively and 3, 12, and 24 months post-surgery. Data Analysis: Associations between preoperative therapies and outcome were investigated using robust Poisson regression models. Results: Univariable: Daily opioid use associated with poor neck disability outcome and spinal injections, physiotherapy, and regular exercise predicted good outcome. Multivariable: Spinal injections, physiotherapy, and regular exercise had causal effect on good neck disability outcome.