Article Abstract

A Canadian perspective on anterior cervical discectomies: practice patterns and preferences

Authors: Reena K. Baweja, Michael Bennardo, Forough Farrokhyar, Amanda Martyniuk, Kesava Reddy


Background: The purpose of this study is to elucidate the current practice patterns of Canadian neurosurgeons with regards to anterior cervical discectomy (ACD).
Methods: A one-page questionnaire was sent out using SurveyMonkey to all neurosurgeon members of the Canadian Neurological Sciences Federation (CNSF). End points were surgeon preference for ACD surgical method, graft source, the length of collar usage and the recommended time before returning to work.
Results: Response rate was 74.0%. Of the responders, 75.0% performed single level ACD and 18.3% had completed spine fellowships. The majority (68.2%) chose ACD with fusion and plating (ACDFP) as their preferred method with allograft being the most popular choice of fusion material (44.3%). Most of the respondents did not prescribe collars (60.9%) and when they did, hard collar was prescribed most often (76.9%) and AspenTM collar was the most popular choice (67.7%). The majority of surgeons chose ‘other’ as their response for length of time for collar use (40.0%) while allowing them to take their collars off at night (78.1%). Most of the surgeons recommended physiotherapy post-operatively (58.1%) and time to physiotherapy was 6–8 weeks. Recommended back to work time was 6 weeks for 44.9% of respondents. In the cross analysis, surgeons who performed ACDF were more likely to prescribe collars (50%, P=0.01) versus surgeons who performed ACDFP (21.7%, P=0.01).
Conclusions: Our survey is an up to date description of current practice patterns for ACD amongst Canadian neurosurgeons.