A meta-analysis of the clinical and fusion results following treatment of symptomatic cervical pseudarthrosis

Steven J. McAnany, Evan O. Baird, Samuel C. Overley, Jun S. Kim, Sheeraz A. Qureshi, Paul A. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Study Design Systematic literature review and meta-analysis. Objective This study is a meta-analysis assessing the fusion rate and the clinical outcomes of cervical pseudarthrosis treated with either a posterior or a revision anterior approach. Methods A literature search of PubMed, Cochrane, and Embase was performed. Variables of interest included fusion rate and clinical success. The effect size based on logit event rate was calculated from the pooled results. The studies were weighted by the inverse of the variance, which included both within- and between-study error. The confidence intervals were reported at 95%. Heterogeneity was assessed using the Q statistic and I 2, where I 2 is the estimate of the percentage of error due to between-study variation. Results Sixteen studies reported fusion outcomes; 10 studies reported anterior and/or posterior results. The pooled fusion success was 86.4% in the anterior group and 97.1% in the posterior group (p = 0.028). The anterior group demonstrated significant heterogeneity with Q value of 34.2 and I 2 value of 73.7%; no heterogeneity was seen in the posterior group. The clinical outcomes were reported in 10 studies, with eight reporting results of anterior and posterior approaches. The pooled clinical success rate was 77.0% for anterior and 71.7% for posterior (p = 0.55) approaches. There was significant heterogeneity in both groups (I 2 16.1; 19.2). Conclusions Symptomatic cervical pseudarthrosis can be effectively managed with either an anterior or a posterior approach. The posterior approach demonstrates a significantly greater fusion rate compared with the anterior approach, though the clinical outcome does not differ between the two groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-155
Number of pages8
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 6 Aug 2014


  • ACDF
  • anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion
  • cervical spine
  • exploration of pseudarthrosis
  • iliac crest bone graft
  • meta-analysis
  • nonunion
  • posterior cervical fusion
  • pseudarthrosis


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