Study Design: Retrospective multicenter. Objectives: diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) involving the cervical spine is a rare condition determining disabling aero-digestive symptoms. We analyzed impact of preoperative settings and intraoperative techniques on outcome of patients undergoing surgery for DISH. Methods: Patients with DISH needing for anterior cervical osteophytectomy were collected. Swallow studies and endoscopy supported imaging in targeting bone decompression. Patients characteristics, clinico-radiological presentation, outcome and surgical strategies were recorded. Impact on clinical outcome of duration and time to surgery and different surgical techniques was evaluated through ANOVA. Results: 24 patients underwent surgery. No correlation was noted between specific spinal levels affected by DISH and severity of pre-operative dysphagia. A trend toward a full clinical improvement was noted preferring the chisel (P = 0.12) to the burr (P = 0.65), and whenever C2-C3 was decompressed, whether hyperostosis included that level (P = 0.15). Use of curved chisel reduced the surgical times (P = 0.02) and, together with the nasogastric tube, the risk of complications, while bone removal involving 3 levels or more (P = 0.04) and shorter waiting times for surgery (P < 0.001) positively influenced a complete swallowing recovery. Early decompressions were preferred, resulting in 66.6% of patients reporting disappearance of symptoms within 7 days. One and two recurrences respectively at clinical and radiological follow-up were registered 18-30 months after surgery. Conclusion: The “age of DISH” counts more than patients’ age with timeliness of decompression being crucial in determining clinical outcome even with a preoperative mild dysphagia. Targeted bone resections could be reasonable in elderly patients, while in younger ones more extended decompressions should be preferred.
- cervical hyperostosis
- Forestier syndrome