Clinical experience and two-year follow-up with a one-piece viscoelastic cervical total disc replacement

J Spine Surg. 2017 Dec;3(4):630-640. doi: 10.21037/jss.2017.12.03.


Background: The purpose of this study is to present clinical outcome data from a 2-year post-market study of a viscoelastic one-piece cervical total disc replacement (TDR) in Europe.

Methods: Thirty-nine patients were implanted at five surgical sites in an European post-market clinical study. Clinical outcomes included improvement of neck disability index (NDI) and visual analog scale scores for neck and arm pain from baseline to 2-year follow-up, neurological examinations, patients view on the success of surgery, complications, and subsequent surgical interventions.

Results: Thirty patients had the Freedom® Cervical Disc (FCD) implanted at a single level, and nine patients were implanted at two adjacent levels. The population had a similar distribution of male [20] and female [19] subjects, with a mean age of 45 years. All self-administered outcome measures showed significant clinically important improvements from baseline to the 2-year follow-up. Mean preoperative NDI score improved from 48% to 20%, 13%, 8%, 6% and 4% at 6 weeks, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months, respectively. Average preoperative visual analog scale (VAS) scores of the neck, right and left arm pain intensity and frequency showed significant improvement. All neurological outcome measurements showed immediate improvement from preoperative values and continued improvement throughout 2 years follow-up. From pre-op to 24 months, neurological deficits declined in the population from 21% to 6% for reflex function, 62% to 17% for sensory function, and 38% to 3% for motor function. No patients experienced a deterioration in any measured outcomes compared with the preoperative situation. Patient satisfaction increased over 2 years post-op, with 83% of patients responding that they would "definitely" choose to have the same treatment for their neck/arm condition and another 11% responding that they would "probably" choose to have the same treatment.

Conclusions: The FCD performs as expected in patients with single-level and two-level degenerative disc disease.

Keywords: Cervical spine; total disc replacement (TDR); viscoelastic.