Epidemiological trends in cervical spine surgery for degenerative diseases between 2002 and 2009

Matthew Oglesby, Steven J. Fineberg, Alpesh A. Patel, Miguel A. Pelton, Kern Singh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


Study Design. Retrospective analysis of a population-based database. Objective. To investigate national epidemiological trends of cervical spine surgical procedures from 2002-2009. Summary of Background Data. Anterior cervical fusion (ACF), posterior cervical fusion (PCF), and posterior cervical decompression (PCD) are procedures routinely performed for cervical degenerative pathology. Studies regarding epidemiological trends of these procedures is currently lacking in the literature. Methods. Data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project was obtained for each year between 2002 and 2009. Patients undergoing ACF, PCF, and PCD for the diagnosis of cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy were identifi ed. Demographics, costs, and mortality were assessed in the surgical subgroups. A P value of 0.001 was used to denote signifi cance. Results. An estimated 1,323,979 cervical spine surgical procedures were performed between 2002 and 2009. There was a signifi cant upward trend in the mean age of patients undergoing cervical spine surgery during this time period. ACF and PCF cohorts demonstrated statistically signifi cant increases in comorbidities and costs from 2002-2009. The PCF group had the greatest mortality, comorbidities, costs, and longest hospitalizations compared with ACF and PCF cohorts across all time periods. Conclusion. Our study demonstrates that cervical spine surgical procedures have increased between 2002 and 2009 ( P = 0.001). The primary increase in volume is due to the increasing number of ACFs. Despite older patients with more comorbidities undergoing ACF and PCF procedures, mortality has not changed. However, this patient population trended signifi cant increases in costs during this time period. We hypothesize that these increased costs are due to an increased comorbidity burden in patients undergoing ACF or PCF. Results of this study can be used to set benchmarks for future epidemiological investigations in cervical spine surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1226-1232
Number of pages7
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jun 15 2013


  • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)
  • Anterior cervical fusion
  • Cervical myelopathy
  • Cervical radiculopathy
  • Cervical spine surgery
  • Laminectomy
  • Laminoplasty
  • Laminotomy
  • National trends
  • Nationwide inpatient sample
  • Posterior cervical decompression
  • Posterior cervical fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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