Surgery for failed cervical spine reconstruction

Melvin D. Helgeson, Todd J. Albert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Study Design: Review article. Objective: To review the indications, operative strategy, and complications of revision cervical spine reconstruction. Summary of Background Data: With many surgeons expanding their indications for cervical spine surgery, the number of patients being treated operatively has increased. Unfortunately, the number of patients requiring revision procedures is also increasing, but very little literature exists reviewing changes in the indications or operative planning for revision reconstruction. Methods: Narrative and review of the literature. Results: In addition to the well-accepted indications for primary cervical spine surgery (radiculopathy, myelopathy, instability, and tumor), we have used the following indications for revision surgery: pseudarthrosis, adjacent segment degeneration, inadequate decompression, iatrogenic instability, and deformity. Our surgical goal for pseudarthrosis is obviously to obtain a fusion, which can usually be performed with an approach not done previously. Our surgical goals for instability and deformity are more complex, with a focus on decompression of any neurologic compression, correction of deformity, and stability. Conclusion: Revision cervical spine reconstruction is safe and effective if performed for the appropriate indications and with proper planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E323-E327
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Laminectomy
  • postlaminectomy kyphosis
  • pseudarthrosis
  • sagittal balance


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