The Effect of Subsidence on Segmental and Global Lordosis at Long-term Follow-up After Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

Akiro H. Duey, Christopher Gonzalez, Eric A. Geng, Pierce J. Ferriter, Ashley M. Rosenberg, Ula N. Isleem, Bashar Zaidat, Paul M. Al-Attar, Jonathan S. Markowitz, Jun S. Kim, Samuel K. Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Subsidence following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) may lead to disruptions of cervical alignment and lordosis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of subsidence on segmental, regional, and global lordosis. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study performed between 2016–2021 at a single institution. All measurements were performed using lateral cervical radiographs at the im-mediate postoperative period and at final follow-up greater than 6 months after surgery. Associations between subsidence and segmental lordosis, total fused lordosis, C2–7 lordo-sis, and cervical sagittal vertical alignment change were determined using Pearson correlation and multivariate logistic regression analyses. Results: One hundred thirty-one patients and 244 levels were included in the study. There were 41 one-level fusions, 67 two-level fusions, and 23 three-level fusions. The median fol-low-up time was 366 days (interquartile range, 239–566 days). Segmental subsidence was significantly negatively associated with segmental lordosis change in the Pearson (r =-0.154, p = 0. 016) and multivariate analyses (beta =-3. 78; 95% confidence interval,-7. 15 to-0. 42; p = 0. 028) but no associations between segmental or total fused subsidence and any other measures of cervical alignment were observed. Conclusion: We found that subsidence is associated with segmental lordosis loss 6 months following ACDF. Surgeons should minimize subsidence to prevent long-term clinical symptoms associated with poor cervical alignment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-934
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Cervical vertebrae
  • Diskecto-my
  • Intervertebral disc
  • Lordosis
  • Spinal fusion
  • Vertebral body


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