BACKGROUND: In an effort to avoid the morbidity associated with autogenous bone graft harvesting, cervical cages in combination with allograft bone are used to achieve fusion. The goal of the current study was to assess the reliability and efficacy of anterior cervical discectomy and interbody fusion (ACDF) using a PEEK anatomical cervical cage in the treatment of patients affected by Single-level cervical degenerative disease.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Twenty-five patients affected by Single-level cervical degenerative pathology between C4 and C7 were enrolled in this study. The clinical findings were assessed using the Neck Disability Index and the Visual Analog Scale. Surgical outcomes were rated according to Odom's criteria at last follow-up. fusion was graded as poor, average, good or excellent by assessing the radiographs. cervical spine alignment was evaluated by sagittal segmental alignment and sagittal alignment of the whole cervical spine preoperatively, 6 months postoperatively and at the last follow-up.
RESULTS: Twenty-five patients underwent ACDF using a PEEK anatomical cervical cage. All patients had a minimum 2 years of follow-up. The operative levels were C4-C5 in 5 patients, C5-C6 in 12 patients and C6-C7 in 8 patients. Preoperatively, average NDI was 34, 13 at 6 months, and 10 at latest follow-up. The mean preoperative VAS was 7; the mean postoperative VAS at latest follow-up was 3. Good or excellent fusion was achieved in all patients within 10 months (mean 5 months). Preoperatively, average sagittal segmental alignment (SSA) was 0.2° and average sagittal alignment of the cervical spine (SACS) 15.8°. Six months after surgery, average SSA was 1.8° and average SACS 20.9°, and at last follow-up, average SSA was 1.6° and average SACS 18.5°.
CONCLUSION: anterior cervical discectomy and interbody fusion using PEEK anatomical cervical cages can be considered a safe and effective technique to cure cervical disc herniation with intractable pain or neural deficit in cases where conservative treatment failed.