Background: Use of cervical bracing/collar subsequent to anterior cervical spine discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is variable. Outcomes data regarding bracing after ACDF are limited. Here, we study the impact of bracing on short-term outcomes related to safety, quality of care, and direct costs in multilevel ACDF.
Methods: Retrospective cohort analyses of all consecutive patients undergoing multilevel ACDF with or without bracing from 2013 to 2017 was undertaken (n = 616). Patient demographics and comorbidities were analyzed. Tests of independence and logistic regressions were used to assess differences in length of stay (LOS), discharge disposition (home, assisted rehabilitation facility [ARF], or skilled nursing facility [SNF]), quality-adjusted life year (QALY), direct cost, readmission within 30 days, and emergency room (ER) visits within 30 days.
Results: Amongst the study population, 553 were braced and 63 were not braced. There was no difference in comorbidities (P > .05) such as obesity, smoking, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and problem list number. A significant difference in American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score was found, with more ASA 2 patients in the braced cohort and more ASA 3 patients in the unbraced cohort (P = .007). LOS was extended for the unbraced group (median 156.9 +/- 211.4 versus 86.67 +/- 130.6 h, P = .003), and ER visits within 30 days were 0.21 times less likely in the braced group (P = .006). There was no difference in readmission (P = .181), QALY gain (P = .968), and direct costs (P = .689).
Conclusion: Bracing following multilevel cervical fixation does not alter short-term postoperative course or reduce the risk for early adverse outcomes in a significant manner.
International Journal of Spine Surgery
Caplan, I. F., Sinha, S., Osiemo, B., McClintock, S., Schuster, J. M., Smith, H., Glauser, G., Sharma, N., Ozturk, A. K., Ali, Z. S., & Malhotra, N. R. (2020). The Utility of Cervical Spine Bracing As a Postoperative Adjunct to Multilevel Anterior Cervical Spine Surgery. International Journal of Spine Surgery, 14(2), 151-157. http://dx.doi.org/10.14444/7022