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Porous titanium cervical interbody fusion device in the treatment of degenerative cervical radiculopathy; 1-year results of a prospective controlled trial

      Abstract

      Background context

      Anterior cervical discectomy with an interbody cage (ACDF) to obtain fusion is a common procedure in cervical spine surgery. Presently, polyetheretherketone (PEEK) with (auto) graft is frequently used for interbody fusion although alternative implant technology like 3-D printing titanium has been introduced recently.

      Purpose

      Reporting the clinical and quantitative radiological outcome of a prospective cohort of 3-D printed porous titanium implants.

      Study design/setting

      Prospective study of patients with single level ACDF using 3-D printed porous titanium cervical implants. These data were compared with 48 patients from the PEEK with autograft group of the previously performed CAncellous Structured Ceramic Arthrodesis DEvice trial.

      Patient sample

      Fourty-nine patients were included.

      Outcome measures

      Neck disability index (NDI), visual analog scale (VAS), self-reported perceived recovery, and fusion status.

      Methods

      The clinical outcomes and fusion rates were documented at 3, 6, and 12 months. Dynamic X-rays were analyzed to determine range of motion (ROM) of the operated level. Fusion was defined as rotation ≤4° and ≤1.25 mm translation on flexion-extension films.

      Results

      The mean NDI improved from 41.2 preoperatively to 19.4 at 12 months postoperatively. Both VAS arm and VAS neck improved significantly after surgery and 77.1% of the patients reported complete or nearly complete recovery at 12 months. The mean ROM of the affected disc level decreased from 8.7° (range 2.6–21.4) before surgery to 1.6° (0.0–4.6°) after 12 months. The fusion rate at 3, 6, and 12 months was 84%, 89%, and 91% respectively, compared with 67%, 72%, and 90%, in the PEEK group.

      Conclusions

      3-D printed porous titanium cervical implants resulted in significant clinical improvement after surgery. The fusion rate of porous titanium compared with PEEK with autograft at 12 months was similar, although porous titanium resulted in faster consolidation. In addition, one level anterior cervical fusion can be successfully achieved without additional plating.

      Keywords

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