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Outcome of surgery for cervical radiculopathy evaluated by determination of trapezius muscle microcirculation and electromyography
Department of Neuro-Orthopedic Surgery, Ryhov Hospital, Jönköping, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Orthopaedics. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Orthopaedics. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2001 (English)In: European Journal of Pain, ISSN 1090-3801, E-ISSN 1532-2149, Vol. 5, no 1, 39-48 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Surgery for cervical radiculopathy was evaluated in 27 patients after anterior Cloward procedure (19 patients) or posterior decompression (eight patients). In addition, we examined 10 conservatively treated patients. Each patient was studied prospectively with regards to the effects on microcirculation in the local trapezius muscle during a fatiguing series of stepwise increased contractions. The right and left muscles were simultaneously examined pre-operatively and postoperatively after 9 months using laser-Doppler flowmetry and simultaneous surface electromyography (EMG). Preoperatively, a reduced microcirculation was found in the most painful side compared with the opposite side. This is in accordance with earlier reports on patients with chronic neurogenic neck pain, who also show reduced muscle tension on EMG. Postoperatively, the muscle blood flow became increased, but only in patients operated on via a posterior approach. A tendency at increased EMG-amplitude and reduced mean power frequency of the EMG was noted. These EMG signs of muscle fatigue suggest increased ability to exhaust the trapezius muscle postoperatively. The observed postoperative changes were consistently more frequent in the less painful side. We conclude from these objective measurements showing only a tendency at increased microcirculation and muscle tension postoperatively, that the effect on the trapezius muscle is limited. (C) 2001 European Federation of Chapters of the International Association for the Study of Pain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 5, no 1, 39-48 p.
Keyword [en]
intervertebral disk displacement, cervical vertebrae, blood flow, laser-Doppler, electromyography, prospective studies
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-49185DOI: 10.1053/eujp.2000.0216OAI: diva2:270081
Available from: 2009-10-11 Created: 2009-10-11 Last updated: 2012-08-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Outcome and bone grafts in surgical treatment of cervical disc disease: A clinical evaluation using MRI, radiostereometry and measurements of microcirculation and the quality of life
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Outcome and bone grafts in surgical treatment of cervical disc disease: A clinical evaluation using MRI, radiostereometry and measurements of microcirculation and the quality of life
2000 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis was to evaluate the outcome after surgical treatment of cervical disc disease and the influence of different bone grafting methods.

192 patients were studied, of which 149 were treated surgically. They all presented with radiculopathy and/ or myelopathy, and were subjected to an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion as described by Cloward, except for 8 patients operated with a posterior decompression.

43 patients due for surgery were prospectively randomized to fusion with either auto-, allo- or xenograft. 33 of these patients were then monitored by radiostereornetric analysis (RSA) after 6, 12 and 24-50 (mean 37) months, including conventional radiography at the final follow-up. All 43 patients were examined clinically, including pain rating pre- and postoperatively with a final follow-up by an unbiased observer. Mobility could be demonstrated by RSA in 9 patients after one year and at the final follow-up in 6, with no difference between bone grafts. Conventional radiography showed final mobility in only 1 out of these 6 patients. The clinical results were not influenced by whether mobility could be demon strated or not. There was a tendency towards better clinical results in the patients fused with an autograft.

13 patients operated without bone graft had a less favourable clinical outcome compared with 11 patients operated with autograft, retrospectively studied 6- 9 years postoperatively.

The normal postoperative course was followed prospectively in 25 consecutive patients by MRI and clinical reviews, preoperatively and 3 days, 3, 6, 12 and 24 months postoperatively. The results demonstrated that the decompression by an anterior procedure should not be evaluated by MRI until at least 3 months postoperatively. This is because surgical debris behind the bone dowel is impossible to distinguish from remaining osteophytes or disc fragments. MRI-findings of foraminal narrowing were common postoperatively among patients with no remaining radiculopathy. A rim sign was permanent with high signal enhancement around the bovine xenograft after i. v. contrast, indicating fibrous healing.

Surgically treated patients experienced a pain reduction as measured by visual analogue pain scales (VAS) and showed an improvement in clinical findings, when followed by unbiased observers at least 2 years after surgery. Some recurrence of pain and other symptoms was common 3 to 6 months postoperatively. The improvement in quality of life measured by Sickness Impact Profile (SIP) in 43 operated patients was mainly temporary, even if a sustained improvement after 2 years was observed among the operated patients that were referred directly to us.

No corresponding changes in pain, clinical findings or SIP were seen among 41 conservatively treated patients, matched for gender and age.

Measurements of microcirculation and electromyography in the trapezius muscles during increased static load before and 9 months after surgery (27 patients) showed a tendency towards increased microcirculation and increased muscle activation. There was a more evident response on the less painful side, as well as among the 8 patients operated using a posterior approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2000. 58 p.
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 621
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-28059 (URN)12823 (Local ID)91-7219-578-9 (ISBN)12823 (Archive number)12823 (OAI)
Public defence
2000-03-31, Berzeliussalen, Universitetssjukhuset, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2012-10-25Bibliographically approved

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Löfgren, HåkanLarsson, Sven-Erik
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