Disc replacement using Pro-Disc C versus fusion: a prospective randomised and controlled radiographic and clinical study

Eur Spine J. 2007 Mar;16(3):423-30. doi: 10.1007/s00586-006-0226-5. Epub 2006 Nov 14.


Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) may be considered to be the gold standard for treatment of symptomatic degenerative disc disease within the cervical spine. However, fusion of the segment may result in progressive degeneration of the adjacent segments. Therefore, dynamic stabilization procedures have been introduced. Among these, artificial disc replacement by disc prosthesis seems to be promising. However, to be so, segmental motion must be preserved. This, again, is very difficult to judge and has not yet been proven. The aim of the current study was to first analyse the segmental motion following artificial disc replacement using a disc prosthesis. A second aim was to compare both segmental motion as well as clinical result to the current gold standard (ACDF). This is a prospective controlled study. Twenty-five patients with cervical disc herniation were enrolled and assigned to either study group (receiving a disc prosthesis) or control group (receiving ACDF, using a cage with bone graft and an anterior plate.) Radiostereometric analysis was used to quantify intervertebral motion immediately as well as 3, 6, 12 and 24 weeks postoperatively. Further, clinical results were judged using visual analogue scale and neuro-examination. Cervical spine segmental motion decreased over time in the presence of disc prosthesis or ACDF. However, the loss of segmental motion is significantly higher in the ACDF group, when looked at 3, 6, 12 and 24 weeks after surgery. We observed significant pain reduction in neck and arm postoperatively, without significant difference between both groups (P > 0.05). Cervical spine disc prosthesis preserves cervical spine segmental motion within the first 6 months after surgery. The clinical results are the same when compared to the early results following ACDF.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement / methods*
  • Bone Screws
  • Cervical Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Cervical Vertebrae / physiology
  • Cervical Vertebrae / surgery
  • Diskectomy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intervertebral Disc / surgery*
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / diagnostic imaging
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prosthesis Implantation / methods
  • Radiography
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Spinal Fusion / methods*