Journal of spinal disorders vol:8 issue:6 pages:500-8; discussion 499
This study presents the 5-9-year follow-up after anterior cervical fusion and osteosynthetic stabilization anterior plating for fractures and/or dislocations of the cervical spine in 25 patients. Adequate bony fusion was obtained in all patients within 1 year postoperatively. There were no problems of late screw loosening. Fracture of the osteosynthetic plate occurred in one patient. Late degenerative changes of the cervical spine at the disc levels adjacent to the fusion area were radiologically detected in 15 of the 25 patients (60%) and were related to the following situations: fusion on more than one disc level, fusion on a lower cervical segment, Frankel class A-C at admission, and hyperflexion injuries. However, these late degenerative changes had no subjective or clinical repercussions, at least until now. From a neurological point of view all patients remained stable postoperatively and no patients had late deterioration.