ACDF results do not match perception

“If you ask most spine surgeons about the clinical results of a one-level anterior cervical fusion, typically they would answer that it’s a 95 percent operation—95 percent of patients have excellent results, and fusion rates are 95 percent or better,” Kenneth A. Pettine, MD, told members of the North American Spine Society. Dr. Pettine himself believed those statistics—until he did a meta-analysis of the published results.

“The perception is that this is a great operation,” Dr. Pettine said. “I’m not saying it’s an awful operation. We’re just presenting the data that it’s certainly not 95 percent.”

In fact, based on Level I and Level II data, Dr. Pettine found that anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF) has a 10 percent reoperation rate and a 70 percent clinical success rate.

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