The Role of Cricopharyngeal Myotomy After Anterior Cervical Decompression and Fusion Operations

Kevin Hines*, Geoffrey Stricsek, Aria Mahtabfar, Srinivas Prasad, Jack Jallo, Ashwini Sharan, Joshua Heller, Mauritis Boon, Colin Huntley, Joseph Spiegel, James Harrop

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Anterior cervical spine surgeries have low morbidity, sufficient surgical corridor, and quick recovery times. Although largely considered a safe and effective procedure to address cervical myelopathy, radiculopathy, and deformity, dysphagia is a frequent yet poorly understood adverse event. One treatment is cricopharyngeal myotomy (CPM), which aids in swallowing for patients with refractory issues after anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF). Case Description: Here we describe our experience with 6 patients requiring revision ACDF with preoperative dysphagia who were treated with concurrent revision and CPM. Our series demonstrated that CPM is an effective and safe procedure used in combination with an ACDF. In our series, we had 6 patients with dysphagia preoperatively who were all able to undergo ACDF without worsening of their dysphagia despite having risk factors predisposing them to this complication. In our series, 83% of patients either improved or experienced resolution of their symptoms with only 1 patient failing to improve. Conclusions: Given its efficacy and safety, patients planned for ACDF with preoperative dysphagia should be evaluated by ENT for potential CPM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-148
Number of pages3
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • ACDF
  • Anterior cervical decompression and fusion
  • Cricopharyngeal myotomy
  • Dysphagia
  • Revision
  • Swallowing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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