Comparison of Two-level Cervical Disc Replacement Versus Two-level Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion in the Outpatient Setting

Spine 2021;46:658–664

Study Design. Retrospective cohort study.

Objective. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety of two-level cervical disc replacement (CDR) in the outpatient setting.

Summary of Background Data. Despite growing interest in CDR, limited data exist evaluating the safety of two-level CDR in the outpatient setting.

Methods. The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database was queried for all two-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) and CDR procedures between 2015 and 2018. Demographics, comorbidities, and 30-day postoperative complication rates of outpatient two-level CDR were compared to those of inpatient two-level CDR and outpatient two-level ACDF. Radiographic data are not available in the NSQIP.

Results. A total of 403 outpatient CDRs were compared to 408 inpatient CDRs and 4134 outpatient ACDFs. Outpatient CDR patients were older and more likely to have pulmonary comorbidities compared to inpatient CDR (P<0.03). Outpatient CDR patients were less likely to have an American Society of Anesthesiologists class 2 and have hypertension compared to outpatient ACDF patients (P<0.0001). Outpatient CDR had a lower 30-day readmission rate (0.5% vs. 2.5%, P¼0.02) and lower 30-day reoperation rate (0% vs. 1%, P¼0.047) compared to inpatient CDR. Outpatient CDR had a lower readmission rate (0.5% vs. 2.1%, P¼0.03) compared to outpatient ACDF, but there was no difference in reoperation rates between the two procedures (0% vs. 0.8%, P¼0.07). Outpatient CDR had an overall complication rate of 0.2%, inpatient CDR had a complication rate of 0.9%, and outpatient ACDF had a complication rate of 1.3%. These differences were not significant.

Conclusion. To our knowledge, this is the largest multicenter study examining the safety of two-level outpatient CDR procedures. Outpatient two-level CDR was associated with similarly safe outcomes when compared to inpatient two-level CDR and outpatient two-level ACDF. This suggests that two-level CDR can be performed safely in the outpatient setting. Key words: two-level, adjacent segment disease, anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, cervical disc replacement, degenerative cervical disc disease, outcomes, outpatient.

Level of Evidence: 3


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