Cervical nerve root compression caused by disco-osteophytic changes is classically operated by anterior transdiscal approach with disc replacement. If compression persists or recurs, reoperation via the same surgical route may be difficult, because of scar tissue and/or implants. An alternative approach may be necessary. We recommend the lateral cervical approach (retrojugular) as salvage operation in such cases. We report a patient with cervical nerve root compression operated by anterior transdiscal approach with plate and bone graft. As some compression persisted clinically and radiologically, the patient was re-operated via a lateral approach. The surgical access was free of scar tissue. The arthrodesis could be left intact and did not prevent effective nerve root decompression. The patient became asymptomatic. The lateral cervical approach (retrojugular) as reported here, is an excellent alternative pathway if reoperation after anterior transdiscal surgery with disc replacement becomes necessary.
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Cornelius, J.F., George, B. Cervical nerve root decompression by lateral approach as salvage operation after failed anterior transdiscal surgery: technical case report. Eur Spine J 18 (Suppl 2), 272–275 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-009-1030-9