Hybrid Surgery Versus Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion in Multilevel Cervical Disc Diseases: A Meta-Analysis

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To investigate the outcomes and reliability of hybrid surgery (HS) versus anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) for the treatment of multilevel cervical spondylosis and disc diseases.

Hybrid surgery, combining cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) with fusion, is a novel treatment to multilevel cervical degenerated disc disease in recent years. However, the effect and reliability of HS are still unclear compared with ACDF.

To investigate the studies of HS versus ACDF in patients with multilevel cervical disease, electronic databases (Medline, Embase, Pubmed, Cochrane library, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials) were searched. Studies were included when they compared HS with ACDF and reported at least one of the following outcomes: functionality, neck pain, arm pain, cervical range of motion (ROM), quality of life, and incidence of complications. No language restrictions were used. Two authors independently assessed the methodological quality of included studies and extracted the relevant data.

Seven clinical controlled trials were included in this study. Two trials were prospective and the other 5 were retrospective. The results of the meta-analysis indicated that HS achieved better recovery of NDI score (P  = 0.038) and similar recovery of VAS score (P = 0.058) compared with ACDF at 2 years follow-up. Moreover, the total cervical ROM (C2–C7) after HS was preserved significantly more than the cervical ROM after ACDF (P = 0.000) at 2 years follow-up. Notably, the compensatory increase of the ROM of superior and inferior adjacent segments was significant in ACDF groups at 2-year follow-up (P  < 0.01), compared with HS.

The results demonstrate that HS provides equivalent outcomes and functional recovery for cervical disc diseases, and significantly better preservation of cervical ROM compared with ACDF in 2-year follow-up. This suggests the HS is an effective alternative invention for the treatment of multilevel cervical spondylosis to preserve cervical ROM and reduce the risk of adjacent disc degeneration. Nonetheless, more well-designed studies with large groups of patients are required to provide further evidence for the benefit and reliability of HS for the treatment of cervical disk diseases.

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