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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2003 Sep;85(7):1019-25.

Cage versus tricortical graft for cervical interbody fusion. A prospective randomised study.

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Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, England.


We conducted a prospective, randomised study of 42 cervical interbody fusions undertaken with either an autologous tricortical graft or a cage. The factors assessed in the two groups were: (1) time taken to achieve fusion; (2) neck disability index; (3) pain score; (4) interbody height ratio; (5) interbody angle and (6) the influence of smoking on fusion. No statistical difference was seen in the time taken to achieve fusion, neck disability index, interbody height ratio, or interbody angles. Smoking did not have any effect on the fusion process. The pain score was significantly lower in the tricortical graft group at six months. We conclude that both methods of fusion give similar results, although tricortical graft fusion is cheaper than cage fusion, and is more effective in reducing the pain score.

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