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Is surgery required for cervical pseudarthrosis?

By March 12, 2012 - 12:34pm
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I had cervical fusion of C5 & C6 in 2010. It has been two years and I just found out the C6 fusion didn't work. The C5 fusion is text book and looks great. My surgeon is advocating for posterior cervical fusion surgery. I have had some neck pain but am now pain free. I understand that doing another anterior fusion may not result in fusion again.

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Hi Kathyb,
While researching for you, I found an article on the website, Medscape Today, that states- "Pseudarthrosis after an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is a well-known complication."

The author of the article, Lisa K. Cannada, MD, goes on to say that not all pseudoarthroses are symptomatic or require a subsequent surgical repair.

I found another article which appeared in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. The lead author, M.G. Kaiser, concluded that revision of a pseudarthrosis that causes symptoms may be considered because arthrodesis (the surgical fixation of a joint to promote bone fusion) is associated with improved clinical outcome.

Both posterior and anterior approaches have proven successful for surgical correction of an anterior pseudoarthrosis. Posterior approaches may be associated with higher fusion rates following repair of an anterior pseudarthrosis.

I suppose you need to consider the pros and cons of having another surgery.


March 12, 2012 - 4:28pm
(reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

Thank you Maryann for your quick reply. I will check out the articles referenced. I have been considering this surgery for a while now especially since this is a posterior fusion and the recovery is quite difficult.

March 13, 2012 - 11:39am
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