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Effectiveness of rehabilitation after cervical disk surgery: a systematic review of controlled studies [with consumer summary]
Tederko P, Krasuski M, Tarnacka B
Clinical Rehabilitation 2019 Mar;33(3):370-380
systematic review

OBJECTIVES: To present a synopsis of evidence on the efficacy of rehabilitation after cervical disk surgery performed for neck pain and radiculopathy. DATA SOURCES: The databases of Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Central were searched for studies reporting effects of rehabilitation interventions in patients undergoing surgery due to cervical disk disease with pain and radicular syndrome, published before 31 August 2018. REVIEW METHODS: Project was registered with PROSPERO database (number CRD42018085937). Randomized controlled trials that evaluated the efficacy of rehabilitation interventions versus other, sham, or no treatment were selected. The primary outcomes were disability and pain. Secondary outcomes were other measures assessing biological, psychological or social effect of rehabilitation. Two reviewers independently screened studies for eligibility, assessed risk of bias and extracted data. Evaluation of evidence was performed with the GRADE system. RESULTS: Five papers were included in the review. The eligible studies were heterogeneous in intervention and outcome reporting. There are low- to very-low-quality evidence that some interventions (use of cervical collars after non-plated anterior cervical diskectomy an fusion, structured physiotherapy, and interactive patients' education) provide some benefit within functioning, pain, and selected psychological variables in patients undergoing cervical disk surgery. Controlled trials addressing comprehensive interdisciplinary rehabilitation, multidisciplinary pain management, occupational therapy, psychotherapy, social and vocational interventions were not identified. CONCLUSION: There is insufficient evidence with few trials of low quality to allow any conclusion to be drawn about the effectiveness, harms, and general ineffectiveness of rehabilitation for people who have had cervical disk surgery for pain or radiculopathy.

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