patients with radiculopathy due to cervical disc disease, anterior cervical
decompression and fusion (ACDF) followed by physical therapy did not result in
additional improvements in neck active range of motion, neck muscle endurance,
or hand-related function compared with a structured physical therapy program
alone, say authors of an article published this
month in Spine. They suggest that a
structured physical therapy program should precede a decision for ACDF
intervention in patients with radiculopathy to reduce the need for surgery.
this prospective randomized study, 63 patients with radiculopathy and magnetic
resonance imaging-verified nerve root compression received either ACDF in
combination with physical therapy or physical therapy alone. Outcomes,
including active range of neck motion, neck muscle endurance, and hand-related
functioning, were measured in 49 of these patients by an independent examiner
before treatment and at 3-, 6-, 12-, and 24-month follow-ups.
were no significant differences between the 2 treatment alternatives in any of
the measurements performed. Both groups showed improvements over time in neck
muscle endurance, manual dexterity, and right-handgrip strength.