Hybrid Decompression and Fixation Technique Versus Plated 3-Vertebra Corpectomy for 4-Segment Cervical Myelopathy: Analysis of 81 Cases With a Minimum 2-Year Follow-Up

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Abstract

Study Design:

A retrospective comparative study.

Objective:

The purpose of this study was to compare the stability and outcomes of a hybrid technique with those of a 3-vertebra corpectomy in the management of 4-segment cervical myelopathy.

Summary of Background Data:

Patients with primarily ventral disease and loss of cervical lordosis are considered good candidates for anterior surgery. Cervical corpectomy is commonly performed in patients with multilevel cervical myelopathy. Corpectomies including >3 vertebraes entail an extremely high risk of reconstruction failure. To avoid the need to perform a 3-vertebra corpectomy, we use a hybrid decompression and fixation technique. This hybrid technique is a technique to obtain optimum decompression and fixation in patients with multilevel cervical myelopathy.

Methods:

A total of 81 patients with multilevel cervical myelopathy who underwent 4-segment cervical fixation with a minimum 2-year follow-up were included.

Results:

The hybrid technique involved combining a plated 2-vertebra corpectomy and single-level discectomy with stand-alone cage fixation. This technique was performed in 39 patients, and the plated 3-vertebra corpectomy was performed in 42 patients. Nine patients (21%) who underwent the plated 3-vertebra corpectomy were treated with halo immobilization, but no patient in the hybrid group required this treatment (P=0.002). There were fewer instances of reconstruction failure in the hybrid group than in the 3-vertebra corpectomy group (0% vs. 10%, respectively; P=0.048) and fewer instances of C5 palsy (3% vs. 17%, respectively; P <0.0001). The incidence of postoperative C5 palsy was 25% for C3–C5 corpectomy, 19% for C4–C6 corpectomy, and 11% for C4–C5 corpectomy+C6–C7 discectomy.

Conclusions:

The hybrid technique has the following advantages over 3-vertebra corpectomy for 4-segment cervical fixation: a shorter graft bone and plate are required; the fixed segment has greater initial stability; postoperative external immobilization is simplified; and the risk of reconstruction failure and postoperative C5 palsy is reduced markedly.

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