5 key notes on how steroids impact ACDF

Written by Laura Dyrda | August 05, 2015 | Print  |

The Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine includes a new study examining the impact of steroid use in anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.

The randomized controlled trial included 112 patients who were randomly assigned to receive saline or dexamethasone for anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at Albany Medical Center between 2008 and 2012.


The baseline demographics were similar between the two groups. The researchers found:


1. There wasn't any difference in patient-reported pain-related or functional outcomes between the steroid and placebo groups.


2. The dysphasia severity in the postoperative period up to one month was significantly lower in the steroid group than the placebo group.


3. The airway difficulty and a need for intubation trended toward significance in the placebo group.


4. Fusion rates at six months were significantly lower in the steroid group but lost significance at 12 months.


5. The researchers concluded dexamethasone administered perioperatively improves swelling function and airway edema and shortened the length of stay. "However, it significantly delayed fusion, but the long-term fusion rates remained unaffected," they reported.


More articles on spine surgery:
Dr. John Spitalieri opens North Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Clinic
5 things to know about spinal meningiomas
Huntsville Hospital ranks among best for spine surgery

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