Objective: To analyze the clinical and radiographic results following the use of integrated intervertebral implant in patients with cervical spine degenerative disease.
Background: Though excellent results have been reported following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion using iliac crest autograft/allograft with plating, the morbidity associated with autograft harvest and small chances of complications with plating always exists. Recently, there has been development of a cervical stand-alone cage with integrated fixation for cervical fusion and stabilization with a possible low morbidity and optimal clinical outcome.
Materials and methods: A retrospective study of 16 patients who underwent anterior cervical discectomy and fusion using the integrated intervertebral device was performed. Intra-operative parameters, clinical features [Neck Disability Index (NDI), visual analog scale (VAS) score for neck/arm pain], and presence or absence of dysphagia was recorded. Radiographs were evaluated for assessment of implant failure and fusion.
Results: Mean age of patients was 54 years (range: 38-84 years) with male: female ratio of 1:3. Follow-up ranged from 6 to 12 months (mean: 10 months). In the early postoperative period, 2 of the 15 patients (13%) patients had mild dysphagia that resolved during follow-up with no patient having complaints of dysphagia at 3-month follow-up. One of the patients with diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) and severe preoperative dysphagia had significant improvement in swallowing function at 3-month follow-up that was stable at 1-year follow-up. There was no evidence of implant failure, with fusion occurring in 95% (19/20) of operated levels. Analysis of follow-up VAS and NDI scores showed significant reduction in VAS score for neck pain (P < 0.019), radicular arm pain (P < 0.003), and NDI score (P < 0.007) in 77, 92, and 77% of patients, respectively, at a mean follow-up of 10 months (6-12 months).
Conclusions: Our preliminary results with the use of this cervical stand-alone anterior fusion device with integrated screw fixation show its efficacy in anterior cervical decompression and fusion with stabilization with optimal clinical and radiographic outcome. Lower chances of dysphagia with no device-related complications are appealing, which needs to be verified in larger studies.
Keywords: Cervical; degenerative; integrated; interbody cage; stand-alone; zero profile.