Clinical Comparison of Surgical Constructs for Anterior Cervical Corpectomy and Fusion in Patients With Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy or Ossified Posterior Longitudinal Ligament: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Abstract

Study Design:

This is a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Objective:

To examine the differences in outcomes among current constructs and techniques for anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion (ACCF) in patients with single or multiple level cervical myelopathy (CM) secondary to cervical spondylosis or ossified posterior longitudinal ligament.

Summary of Background Data:

The natural history of CM can be a progressive disease process. In such cases, where surgical decompression is indicated to halt the progression, ACCF is typically chosen for pathology located posterior to the vertebral body. Numerous studies have shown that decompression with appropriate stabilization not only halts progression, but also improves patient outcomes. However, several constructs are available for this procedure, all with variable outcomes.

Materials and Methods:

A systematic review was conducted using Cochrane Database, Medline, and PubMed. Only studies with a minimum patient population of 10, reporting on CM because of cervical spondylosis or ossified posterior longitudinal ligament were included; a minimum follow-up period of 12 months and 1 clinical and/or radiographic outcome were required. Studies examining patients with cervical trauma/fracture, tumor, and infection or revision cases were excluded. Data analysis was carried out with Microsoft Excel.

Results:

A total of 30 studies met the inclusion criteria for qualitative analysis, while 26 studies were included for quantitative analysis. Constructs that were reported in these studies included titanium mesh cages, nano-hydroxyapatite/polyamide 66 composite struts, bone graft alone, expandable corpectomy cages, and polyetheretherketone cages. Clinical outcomes included Japanese Orthopaedic Association and modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores, Visual Analog Scale scores, Neck Disability Index scores, and Nurick grades. Radiographic outcomes included C2–C7 and segmental Cobb angles and pseudarthrosis rates. Each construct type had variable and unique benefits and shortcomings.

Conclusions:

ACCF is a common surgical option for CM, despite carrying certain risks expected of any anterior cervical approach. Several constructs are available for ACCF, all with variable clinical and radiographic outcomes.

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