Asian Spine J.  2018 Aug;12(4):656-661. 10.31616/asj.2018.12.4.656.

Effect of Steroid-Soaked Gelatin Sponge on Soft Tissue Swelling Following Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion: A Radiographic Analysis

Affiliations
  • 1Spine and Scoliosis Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA. girardif@hss.edu

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective radiological review and analysis of 79 patients who underwent primary anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) of 2 or 3 levels between 2011 and 2013. PURPOSE: This study aimed to determine the effect of the local placement of a steroid-soaked gelatin sponge after ACDF on prevertebral soft tissue swelling. OVERVIEW OF LITERATURE: Although ACDF has become a popular choice for cervical fusion, the surgical involvement of the delicate anatomy of the neck frequently results in tissue irritation and edema. Swelling of the prevertebral soft tissue may consequently lead to mild-to-severe complications, ranging from dysphonia to dyspnea.
METHODS
Out of the 79 patients who underwent primary ACDF, 52 received a gelatin sponge soaked with 40 mg of Depo-Medrol placed adjacent to the operated cervical levels. Prevertebral soft tissue swelling was detected using postoperative lateral X-ray. The radiographic values were compared to those of 27 patients who did not receive the treatment.
RESULTS
Soft tissue swelling was markedly decreased in patients who received the placement of the steroid-soaked gelatin sponge next to their fused levels after surgery compared with that in patients who did not receive it. No complications were documented with the use of steroids.
CONCLUSIONS
The placement of a steroid-soaked gelatin sponge markedly reduces postoperative soft tissue swelling following 2- or 3-level primary ACDF.

Keyword

Cervical vertebrae; Deglutition disorders; Dysphonia; Absorbable gelatin sponge; Methylprednisolone

MeSH Terms

Cervical Vertebrae
Deglutition Disorders
Diskectomy*
Dysphonia
Dyspnea
Edema
Female
Gelatin Sponge, Absorbable
Gelatin*
Humans
Methylprednisolone
Neck
Porifera*
Retrospective Studies
Steroids
Gelatin
Methylprednisolone
Steroids
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