Spine

5 things to know about the optimal spinal fusion length

By Laura Dyrda

A new study presented at the 30th Annual North American Spine Society meeting challenges conventional wisdom about the optimal long posterior cervical spine fusion length.

The single-center retrospective study covered 105 adult patients who underwent posterior instrumented fusion of at least three cervical motion segments including the C7 vertebra. There were 76 patients who had at least one-year follow-up and 54 patients who had fusions that crossed the cervicothoracic juncture with the lowest instrumented vertebra at the thoracic spine.

The researchers found:

1. The reoperation rate wasn’t significantly different between the two cohorts. There were only two patients who had C7-LIV surgery who required distal extension of their fusions — 9 percent.

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