Kyung-Jin Song, Cyrus E. Taghavi, Margaret S. Hsu, Kwang-Bok Lee, Gyu-Hyung Kim, Ji-Hoon Song

October 2010, Volume 19, Issue 10, pp 1677 - 1683 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-010-1283-3

First Online: 21 February 2010

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) with cage alone (ACDF-C) is associated with a significant incidence of subsidence, local kyphosis, and migration. The use of concurrent plate augmentation may decrease the incidence of these complications while improving the fusion rate. The purpose of the study is to present our results with ACDF with cage and plate augmentation (ACDF-CPA) and to compare these results to previous reports of outcomes following ACDF-C. We evaluated the radiologic and clinical parameters of 83 patients (266 fusion sites) who had an ACDF-CPA between March 2002 and May 2006. Radiologic parameters included fusion rate, fusion time, fusion type, site of pseudoarthrosis and rate and degree of subsidence. Clinical parameters included complications and overall outcomes assessed with Robinson’s criteria; 79 of 83 patients showed bony fusion (95.1%) at last follow-up postoperatively, and there was no significant difference in fusion rate between the number of fusion levels. Type I (pseudoarthrosis) was noticed in 9 patients (12 fusion sites), type II in 14 (19 fusion sites), and type III in 60 (235 fusion sites). Five type I and all type II fusions converged into type III by the last follow-up; 76 of 83 patients (91.6%) experienced good clinical outcomes. Pseudoarthrosis occurred more commonly in more proximal locations, and the subsidence rate was significantly greater in two-level fusions when compared with single-level fusions (P = 0.046). There were four metal-related complications. Plate augmentation in one- or two-level anterior cervical fusions for degenerative cervical spine disorders may improve fusion rates and reduce subsidence and complication rates, resulting in improved clinical outcomes.

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