Anterior cervical spine surgery and dysphagia

Yuval Nachalon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of reviewThe purpose of this review is to summarize current evidence regarding dysphagia in anterior cervical spine surgeries (ACSS) and to present recent advances in evaluation and surgical technique.Recent findingsVarious risk factors for dysphagia have been identified, and they include female sex, smoking history, prior surgery and cervical lordotic angle. EAT-10 is a validated tool for the assessment of individuals with dysphagia post-ACSS. Local intraoperative corticosteroid application significantly reduced the incidence and magnitude of dysphagia in four out of five studies that were reviewed. Individuals who had undergone cervical disc replacement (CDR) and revision surgery by a zero-profile anchored spacer (ROI-C) device experienced less dysphagia than those who had anterior cervical discectomy with fusion (ACDF). Videofluoroscopic swallow study (VFSS) after ACSS demonstrated pharyngeal weakness and increased posterior pharyngeal wall thickness, while no other abnormality was found.SummaryDifferent technique variations can reduce dysphagia severity in individuals undergoing ACSS. Surgeons are encouraged to continue performing randomized control studies to assist in choosing the most favourable technique for the patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-421
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • anterior cervical discectomy with fusion
  • anterior cervical spine surgery
  • dysphagia


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