Polylactic acid mesh reconstruction of the anterior iliac crest after bone harvesting reduces early postoperative pain after anterior cervical fusion surgery

Michael Y. Wang, Allan D.O. Levi, Sachin Shah, Barth A. Green, Edward C. Benzel, Volker K.H. Sonntag, Martin B. Camins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Autologous iliac crest bone enhances the rate of spinal arthrodesis. However, graft site complications are common, with donor site pain being particularly troublesome. Reconstruction of the hip defect with an absorbable polylactic acid mesh to restore the bony cortical contour has been proposed to reduce hip pain. METHODS: Thirty-nine consecutive patients treated by a single senior surgeon (BAG) during a 14-month period were studied. All patients had cervical spondylosis treated through an anterior approach supplemented with an autologous hip graft. Patients with preexisting hip pain were excluded. Pain was rated on a scale of 1 to 10 at 1 week and 3 months after surgery via a questionnaire. Postoperative pain medication regimens were standardized. RESULTS: Thirty patients were available for follow-up, 15 with mesh implantation and 15 without. Hip pain in the mesh-treated group averaged 4.7 and 1.6 at 1 week and 3 months, respectively. Hip pain in the standard-treatment group averaged 6.9 and 2.5 at 1 week and 3 months, respectively. These differences were statistically significant (P = 0.004 at 1 wk and 0.055 at 3 mo). Hospital length of stay was shorter in the mesh-treated group (2.1 versus 3.2 d, respectively), but this difference was not statistically significant. Two patients without mesh treatment complained of the cosmetic defect resulting from absent bone, and three had temporary difficulty with hip eversion or flexion. Two patients in the mesh-treated group developed seromas, which were treated conservatively. CONCLUSION: Reconstruction of the iliac crest reduces early postoperative pain. Other potential benefits may include shorter hospitalizations and a reduced incidence of hip weakness; however, careful attention to wound closure is necessary to prevent seroma formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-416
Number of pages4
JournalNeurosurgery
Volume51
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2002

Keywords

  • Anterior cervical surgery
  • Autologous graft
  • Iliac crest
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery

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