Anterior cervical corpectomy: review and comparison of results using titanium mesh cages and carbon fibre reinforced polymer cages

Br J Neurosurg. 2010 Oct;24(5):542-6. doi: 10.3109/02688697.2010.503819.


Different types of cages have recently become available for reconstruction following anterior cervical corpectomy. We review the results using titanium mesh cages (TMC) and stackable CFRP (carbon fibre reinforced polymer) cages. Forty-two patients who underwent anterior cervical corpectomy between November 2001 and September 2008 were retrospectively reviewed. Pathologies included cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM), cervical radiculopathy, OPLL (ossified posterior longitudinal ligament), metastasis/primary bone tumour, rheumatoid arthritis and deformity correction. All patients were evaluated clinically and radiologically. Outcome was assessed on the basis of the Odom's criteria, neck disability index (NDI) and myelopathy disability index (MDI). Mean age was 60 years and mean follow-up was 1½ years. Majority of the patients had single-level corpectomy. Twenty-three patients had TMC cages while 19 patients had CFRP cages. The mean subsidence noted with TMC cage was 1.91 mm, while with the stackable CFRP cage it was 0.5 mm. This difference was statistically significant (p < 0.05). However, there was no statistically significant correlation noted between subsidence and clinical outcome (p > 0.05) or between subsidence and post-operative sagittal alignment (p > 0.05) in either of the groups. Three patients had significant subsidence (> 3 mm), one of whom was symptomatic. There were no hardware-related complications. On the basis of the Odom's criterion, 9 patients (21.4%) had an excellent outcome, 14 patients (33.3%) had a good outcome, 9 patients (21.4%) had a fair outcome and 5 patients (11.9%) had a poor outcome, i.e. symptoms and signs unchanged or exacerbated. Mean post-operative NDI was 26.27% and mean post-operative MDI was 19.31%. Fusion was noted in all 42 cases. Both TMC and stackable CFRP cages provide solid anterior column reconstruction with good outcome following anterior cervical corpectomy. However, more subsidence is noted with TMC cages though this might not significantly alter the clinical outcome unless the subsidence is significant (>3 mm).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carbon Fiber
  • Carbon*
  • Cervical Vertebrae / physiopathology
  • Cervical Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal Fixators
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plastics*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Fusion / instrumentation
  • Spinal Fusion / methods*
  • Titanium*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Carbon Fiber
  • Plastics
  • plastic, carbon fiber reinforced
  • Carbon
  • Titanium