Can an Anchored Cage be Substituted for an Anterior Cervical Plate and Screw for Single-Level Anterior Cervical Fusion Surgery?: Prediction of Poor Candidates Through a Review of Early Clinical and Radiologic Outcomes

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Study Design:

This is a case series of device failure patients.


To identify poor candidates for anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) using an anchored cage.

Summary of Background Data:

An anchored cage has been used as an alternative implant for ACDF surgery because of ease of use, relatively acceptable fusion rate, and lower risk of plate-related complications, including dysphagia.

Materials and Methods:

We retrospectively reviewed the outcomes of 36 patients who underwent ACDF using an anchored cage between January 2012 and December 2013. The initial diagnoses included 8 traumatic soft disk herniations without posterior ligamentous complex injury, 25 degenerative soft disk herniations, 1 degenerative foraminal stenosis, 1 traumatic soft disk herniation after reducing a unilaterally dislocated facet joint, and 1 subluxation of a previously implanted cervical artificial disk. We encountered 5 cases with poor outcomes and performed 3 revisions on the index level. We reviewed the clinical and radiologic data for 31 patients with reasonable outcomes and reviewed the failed 5 cases separately.


Among the 31 patients with reasonable outcomes, all the clinical parameters improved. For the radiologic outcomes, 10 cases of cage subsidence occurred and no patient experienced instability.


Among the 5 patients with poor outcomes, 1 patient had traumatic soft disk herniation and a reduced unilaterally dislocated facet joint, 1 patient had subluxation of a previously implanted cervical artificial disk, and 3 patients had degenerative soft disk herniation and poor bone quality. Although 3 patients required revision surgeries, 2 patients showed only radiologic failures without revision.


We analyzed the short-term outcomes of ACDF using an anchored cage and observed 5 patients with poor outcomes among 36 patients. We recommend the use of a single anchored cage for patients with definite evidence of posterior column stability and healthy bone.

Level of Evidence:

Level 3.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles