Thirty-day readmission and reoperation rates after single-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion versus those after cervical disc replacement

Niketh Bhashyam, Rafael De la Garza Ramos, Jonathan Nakhla, Rani Nasser, Ajit Jada, Taylor E. Purvis, Daniel M. Sciubba, Merritt D. Kinon, Reza Yassari

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OBJECTIVE The goal of this study was to compare 30-day readmission and reoperation rates after single-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) versus those after cervical disc replacement (CDR). METHODS The authors used the 2013-2014 American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Included were adult patients who underwent first-time single-level ACDF or CDR for cervical spondylosis or disc herniation. Primary outcome measures were readmission and/or reoperation within 30 days of the original surgery. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess the independent effect of the procedure (ACDF or CDR) on outcome, and results are presented as odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals. RESULTS A total of 6077 patients met the inclusion criteria; 5590 (92.0%) patients underwent single-level ACDF, and 487 (8.0%) patients underwent CDR. The readmission rates were 2.6% for ACDF and 0.4% for CDR (p = 0.003). When stratified according to age groups, only patients between the ages of 41 and 60 years who underwent ACDF had a significantly higher readmission rate than those who underwent CDR (2.5% vs 0.7%, respectively; p = 0.028). After controlling for patient age, sex, body mass index, smoking status, history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, hypertension, steroid use, and American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class, patients who underwent CDR were significantly less likely to undergo readmission within 30 days than patients who underwent ACDF (OR 0.23 [95% CI 0.06-0.95]; p = 0.041). Patients with a history of COPD (OR 1.97 [95% CI 1.08-3.57]; p = 0.026) or hypertension (OR 1.62 [95% CI 1.10-2.38]; p = 0.013) and those at ASA Class IV (OR 14.6 [95% CI 1.69-125.75]; p = 0.015) were significantly more likely to require readmission within 30 days. The reoperation rates were 1.2% for ACDF and 0.4% for CDR (p = 0.086), and multivariate analysis revealed that CDR was not associated with lower odds of reoperation (OR 0.60 [95% CI 0.14-2.55]; p = 0.492). However, increasing age was associated with a higher risk (OR 1.02 [95% CI 1.00-1.05]; p = 0.031) of reoperation; a 2% increase in risk per year of age was found. CONCLUSIONS Patients who underwent single-level ACDF had a higher readmission rate than those who underwent single-level CDR in this study. When stratified according to age, this effect was seen only in the 41- to 60-year age group. No significant difference in the 30-day single-level ACDF and single-level CDR reoperation rates was found. Although patients in the ACDF group were older and sicker, other unmeasured covariates might have accounted for the increased rate of readmission in this group, and further investigation is encouraged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE6
JournalNeurosurgical Focus
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017



  • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
  • Cervical disc replacement
  • Readmission
  • Reoperation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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