National trends and correlates of dysphagia after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion surgery

Roberto J. Perez-Roman, Evan M. Luther, David McCarthy, Julian G. Lugo-Pico, Roberto Leon-Correa, Steven Vanni, Michael Y. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is the most common performed surgery in the cervical spine. Dysphagia is one of the most frequent complications following ACDF. Several studies have identified certain demographic and perioperative risk factors associated with increased dysphagia rates, but few have reported recent trends. Our study aims to report current trends and factors associated with the development of inpatient postoperative dysphagia after ACDF. Methods: The National Inpatient Sample was evaluated from 2004 to 2014 and discharges with International Classification of Diseases procedure codes indicating ACDF were select-ed. Time trend series plots were created for the yearly treatment trends for each fusion level by dysphagia outcome. Separate univariable followed by multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate predictors of dysphagia. Results: A total of 1, 212, 475 ACDFs were identified in which 3. 3% experienced postoperative dysphagia. A significant increase in annual dysphagia rates was observed from 2004– 2014. Frailty, intraoperative neuromonitoring, 4 or more level fusions, African American race, fluid/electrolyte disorders, blood loss, and coagulopathy were all identified as significant independent risk factors for the development of postoperative dysphagia following ACDF. Conclusion: Postoperative dysphagia is a well-known postsurgical complication associated with ACDF. Our cohort showed a significant increase in the annual dysphagia rates independent of levels fused. We identified several risk factors associated with the development of postoperative dysphagia after ACDF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Cervical discectomy
  • Dysphagia
  • Inpatient
  • Morbidity
  • Spinal fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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