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J Spinal Disord Tech. 2003 Aug;16(4):307-13.

Cervical arthroplasty in the management of spondylotic myelopathy.

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Department of Neurosurgery and Spinal Inhury Unit, Royal North Shore Hospital, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


Cervical spinal cord compression managed via an anterior approach with an arthrodesis is associated with a decreased range of motion and accelerated adjacent segment degeneration. Artificial cervical disc replacement may address these problems. A series of seven cases (three women, two men; age 31-55 years) of anterior cervical decompression and placement of an artificial disc prosthesis is presented. A total of nine Bryan cervical disc prostheses (Spinal Dynamics Corp., Mercer Island, WA) were placed. Clinical and radiologic follow-up was performed at 24 hours, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and then yearly (mean follow-up period 6.29 months, range 1-17 months). There were no complications. There was an improvement in Nurick grade by 0.72 grade (P < 0.05) and Oswestry Neck Disability Index score by 51.4 points (P < 0.0001). Motion was preserved. Improvement in lordosis occurred in 29% of cases. The spinal cord was decompressed on postoperative imaging. Cervical arthroplasty after anterior cervical decompression at one or more levels represents an exciting tool in the management of spinal cord compression secondary to spondylotic disease or acute disc prolapse. This is the first study that looks specifically at cervical arthroplasty for cervical myelopathy. Longer follow-up will reveal any delayed problems with artificial disc implantation, but in the short term, this technique offers an excellent outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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