FRIDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients who undergo an anterior cervical operation for cervical radiculopathy or myelopathy can expect to achieve significant long-term headache relief, according to a study in the Aug. 1 issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.
Joseph Riina, M.D., of Orthopaedics Indianapolis, and colleagues conducted a post hoc analysis of two prospective, multicenter, randomized U.S. Food and Drug Administration Investigational Device Exemption studies comparing 1,004 patients who underwent either disc arthroplasty or cervical arthrodesis. Of these, more than 85 percent reported preoperative headaches, and more than 50 percent reported severe headaches.
After two years, the researchers found that pain scores had improved by at least one grade in a majority of arthroplasty and arthrodesis patients (64 and 58.5 percent, respectively), and that arthroplasty was more frequently associated with significant improvement. They also found that pain scores worsened by at least one grade in 8.4 percent of arthroplasty patients and 13.7 percent of arthrodesis patients.
"This suggests that adequate anterior surgical decompression, which was common to the two procedures, may be a key component to relieving the headache when combined with either arthrodesis or arthroplasty," the authors conclude.
At least one co-author reported financial ties to Medtronic, which makes arthroplasty devices used in the two FDA studies.
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