Single-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion

Does anterior plating increase fusion rates?


Anterior plating provides a rigid construct and improves fusion rates in cases of multi-level cervical degenerative disease. However, there still remains a controversy regarding efficacy of rigid anterior plating in single-level disc prolapse as compared to stand-alone bone graft without anterior plating. In this study we intend to compare and analyse the fusion rates and clinical outcome comparing bone graft alone versus rigid plating in cases of single-level cervical discectomy.

Materials and method
Sixty patients operated on at our department between 2006 and 2011 were included in the study by two spinal surgeons. Thirty patients were treated with autologous iliac crest bone graft and the other group of 30 patients treated with anterior plating system. All patients were evaluated radiologically for fusion and clinical outcome at their final follow-up. The follow-up ranged from 12 months to 48 months after the procedure with an average follow-up being 24 months. Clinical outcomes were assessed with the Cervical Spine Outcomes Questionnaire and Odom’s criteria.

Fusion rates and clinical outcome were comparable with both types of procedures at average 12-month follow-up. There was no statistical difference in outcome. There were no intraoperative or postoperative complications.

Fusion with or without plating does not make any difference in radiological or clinical outcome in cases of single-level disc prolapse.


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