(HealthDay News) — Complication rates are similar for single-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusions, whether the procedure is performed by a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon, according to a study published in the September 15 issue of Spine.

Shobhit V. Minhas, from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues utilized the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database to identify 1,994 patients who underwent single-level ACDF (2006–2012). Propensity matching was used to make comparisons between neurological and orthopedic surgeons.

The researchers found that orthopedic surgeons performed 19.9% of the surgeries, while neurosurgeons performed 80.1%. There was a higher number of comorbidities seen in patients having surgeries performed by neurosurgeons. In multivariate analysis of the propensity-matched groups, type of treating physician was not associated with higher odds for overall complications (odds ratio [OR], 1.708; P=0.133), surgical site complications (OR, 0.869; P=0.835), or medical complications (OR, 1.863; P=0.146).

“Spine surgeon specialty is not a risk factor for any reported postoperative complication in patients undergoing single-level ACDFs,” the authors write.

Relevant financial activities outside the submitted work were disclosed: board membership, consultancy, expert testimony, royalties, stocks.

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