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J Spinal Disord Tech. 2007 Jul;20(5):361-8.

Anterior cervical microdiscectomy with or without fusion.

Author information

  • 1Neurosurgery Department, VKF American Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey. tuncoktenoglu@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Anterior cervical microdiscectomy (ACD) is commonly applied in the surgical treatment of cervical disc herniation. However, following discectomy procedure to perform a fusion process is still controversial. Therefore, a controlled, multicentric, prospective, randomized study was designed.

MATERIAL AND METHOD:

Totally 20 patients were operated. Eleven patients were operated with applying simple anterior microdiscectomy technique. Nine patients were operated via ACD and fusion with a semirigid plate technique. Preoperative and postoperative [immediate; postoperative first day and postoperative 1 y (mean 13.95 mo)] computed tomography studies and plain x-rays were obtained. The cervical disc and bilateral neural foramen heights of the operated level and adjacent segments were calculated. Pain assessment was performed using visual analog pain scale. Mann-Whitney statistical analysis method was applied to compare the outcomes for both groups.

RESULTS:

Satisfactory result was achieved in both groups. The pain scores for major complaint (arm pain) were decreased significantly in all patients after surgery regardless of the type of technique applied. The improvement in neck pain scores was significant only in patients who were treated with fusion procedure. There were no significant changes in disc height and neural foramen height measurements for both groups in adjacent levels in immediate and 1-year postoperative periods. The patients who were operated with simple ACD technique showed no significant decrease at postoperative first day in disc height and neural foramen height. However, the 1-year postoperative radiologic studies showed a significant decrease in disc height and neural foramen dimensions compared with preoperative values. The patients who were treated with fusion process showed a significant increase in disc height and nonsignificant increase in neural foramen heights at immediate postoperative study. However, with time, all dimensions showed significant decrease compared with preoperative values.

CONCLUSIONS:

ACD technique offers satisfactory outcome regardless of whether fusion process is applied or not. Fusion with semirigid plate offers an advantage at operated level in immediate postoperative period in regard of disc height and neural foramen height. However, semirigid anterior plates by definition do not stop subsidence and the advantage that is offered by this technique is not persistent. On the other hand, to apply fusion process with semirigid plate system offers significantly less narrowing in disc height compared with simple ACD technique.

PMID:
17607101
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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