User Tools

Site Tools


Vocal cord palsy after anterior cervical discectomy


Dysphagia and vocal cord palsy (VCP) are common complications after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). The reported incidence for both dysphagia and VCP varies in the literature according to the time the assessment is performed after surgery and the method and completeness of the evaluation. When assessment is performed with questionnaires or objective measurement, the incidence of dysphagia ranges widely, from 17.5% to 71% 1).


The etiology of VCP following ACDF relates to injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN), whereas the etiology of dysphagia is less certain.

VCP may be due to sectioning or retraction injury of the RLN, retraction of the esophagus with reduced perfusion 2).

Erwood MS, Walters BC, Connolly TM, Gordon AS, Carroll WR, Agee BS, Carn BR, Hadley MN. Voice and swallowing outcomes following reoperative anterior cervical discectomy and fusion with a 2-team surgical approach. J Neurosurg Spine. 2018 Feb;28(2):140-148. doi: 10.3171/2017.5.SPINE161104. Epub 2017 Nov 24. PubMed PMID: 29171791.
Heese O, Fritzsche E, Heiland M, Westphal M, Papavero L. Intraoperative measurement of pharynx/esophagus retraction during anterior cervical surgery. Part II: perfusion. Eur Spine J. 2006 Dec;15(12):1839-43. Epub 2006 Feb 14. PubMed PMID: 16477447.
vocal_cord_palsy_after_anterior_cervical_discectomy.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/02 23:48 by administrador