What is the potential for development of degenerative changes adjacent to fused cervical spine segments

Long-term studies after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion indicate that progressive radiographic degenerative changes occur in up to 50% of cases. The incidence of degenerative changes after anterior cervical fusion has been reported to exceed the rate predicted if fusion was not performed. Hilibrand documented development of new symptomatic radiculopathy or myelopathy in adjacent segments at a rate of 3% per year. Within 10 years after anterior cervical decompression and fusion, 26% of patients developed symptomatic radiculopathy or myelopathy.

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