A Retrospective Comparative Study of Long-Term Outcomes Following Cervical Total Disc Replacement Versus Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (2022)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Eseonu, Kelechi; Laurent, Edward; *Bishi, Habeeb; Raja, Hassan; Ravi, Kuppuswamy; Dannawi, Zaher

Cureus.14(12):e32399, 2022 Dec.

Introduction: The traditional treatment for patients with radiculopathy and myelopathy caused by degenerative disc disease was anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). However, a documented complication of ACDF is adjacent segment degeneration (ASD). An alternative that was developed was total disc replacement (TDR). The aim of this study was to determine and compare the short- and medium-to-long-term outcomes after a TDR or ACDF. Methods: A retrospective review of 154 patients who had single and two-level ACDFs and 90 TDRs performed by a single surgeon between 2011 and 2017 was conducted. Parameters for comparisons include both radiological evaluation and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMS) at six weeks, one year, and two years postoperatively. The Neck Disability Index (NDI) and the visual analogue scale (VAS) for neck and arm pain are used to evaluate pain, function, patient satisfaction, and overall clinical success. Results: TDR and ACDF showed significant improvement in NDI and VAS when compared to pre- and post-operatively at both six weeks (p<0.05 & P=0.032, respectively) and two years (p<0.05 & 0=0.026, respectively). TDR vs. ACDF showed no significant difference (p<0.05). VAS scores after ACDF showed improvement from 13.41 to 3.94 at two years (p<0.001). TDR showed similar scores of 12.5 to 3.55 (p<0.001). The radiological fusion rate at 12 or 24 months showed no significant difference between the two groups. There were two cases that required re-operation after ACDF (1.2%), and two that required TDR (2.2%). Conclusion: Both TDR and ACDF lead to clinically significant improvements in pain and function scores. We did not find a statistically significant difference in NDI and VAS in the neck and arm. The results are in agreement with others' assessments of these two treatment modalities. Our conclusions supplement the literature about these operative options for degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine and are a useful addition to the armamentarium in the assessment of patients with degenerative pathology of the c-spine.

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