Study Design: A multicenter, retrospective cohort study. Objective: To evaluate clinical outcomes in patients with reintubation after anterior cervical spine surgery. Methods: A total of 8887 patients undergoing anterior cervical spine surgery were enrolled in the AOSpine North America Rare Complications of Cervical Spine Surgery study. Patients with or without complications after surgery were included. Demographic and surgical information were collected for patients with reintubation. Patients were evaluated using a variety of assessment tools, including the modified Japanese Orthopedic Association scale, Nurick score, Neck Disability Index, and Short Form-36 Health Survey. Results: Nine cases of postoperative reintubation were identified. The total prevalence of this complication was 0.10% and ranged from 0% to 0.59% across participating institutions. The time to development of airway symptoms after surgery was within 24 hours in 6 patients and between 5 and 7 days in 3 patients. Although 8 patients recovered, 1 patient died. At final follow-up, patients with reintubation did not exhibit significant and meaningful improvements in pain, functional status, or quality of life. Conclusions: Although the prevalence of reintubation was very low, this complication was associated with adverse clinical outcomes. Clinicians should identify their high-risk patients and carefully observe them for up to 2 weeks after surgery.
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