Multilevel Arthroplasty for Cervical Spondylosis: More Heterotopic Ossification at 3 Years of Follow-up

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Study Design.

Retrospective cohort study.


To investigate the differences between single- and multilevel degenerative disc diseases (DDDs) treated with cervical arthroplasty.

Summary of Background Data.

The US Food and Drug Administration clinical trials compared arthroplasty with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion for single-level DDD. However, cervical arthroplasty for multilevel DDD is rarely addressed in the literature.


A total of 102 consecutive patients who underwent Bryan arthroplasty were divided into either a single- or multilevel group. Clinical outcomes were measured by the visual analogue scale (VAS) of neck and arm, and by the neck disability index with a minimum follow-up of 25 months. Every patient had radiographical evaluations, and computed tomography.


Eighty-six patients (84.3%) completed the follow-up with a mean time of 38.3 ± 8.7 months. Postoperatively, there were significant improvements in clinical outcomes (i.e., VAS neck, VAS arm, and neck disability index) at each time point of evaluation (i.e., 3-, 6-, 12-, and 24 mo postoperation). The sex composition and clinical outcome improvements between the single- and multilevel groups were not significantly different. The multilevel group was older (51.3 ± 8.6 vs. 46.3 ± 11.2 yr; P = 0.02), had more intraoperative blood loss (218.0 ± 182.4 vs. 102.8 ± 79.2 mL; P = 0.001), and demonstrated a higher rate of heterotopic ossification (HO) than the single-level group (66.0% vs. 25.0%; P < 0.001). The majority (97.7%) of the artificial discs in this series remained mobile despite HO.


Clinical outcomes of cervical arthroplasty in multilevel spondylosis are similar to single-level outcomes. However, the significantly higher rate of HO found in multilevel arthroplasty and its long-term effect warrant further investigation.

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