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Int J Spine Surg. 2017 Apr 5;11:13. doi: 10.14444/4013. eCollection 2017.

Radiographic Analysis of Cervical and Spinal Alignment in Multilevel ACDF with Lordotic Interbody Device.

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University of Tennessee Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chattanooga, TN.
Erlanger Hospital, Department of Radiology, Chattanooga, TN.
Tennova Health Care, Cleveland, TN.



Restoration and maintenance of cervical lordosis is an important clinical parameter in spine surgery. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which a multilevel anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF: greater than 3 levels) procedure restores cervical lordosis and the affect of increasing lordosis on sagittal vertical axis.


We performed a retrospective radiographic analysis of 69 patients who underwent multilevel ACDF by 2 surgeons between 2013 and 2014. We measured the global and segmental sagittal alignment of the cervical spine using the cobb method at 4 time intervals (preop, post op 4wks, 10wks and 6 months) as well as the sagittal vertical axis (SVA) using both a C1-S1 and C7-S1 plumb line methods at 2 time intervals (preop and post op 4wks). Radiographs were measured by three reviewers.


Interrater reliability was good to excellent for all measurements. Cervical lordosis significantly increased from preop 10.26° to 4 weeks postop 19.44° and was maintained up to 6 months 19.34 (p<0.0005). Segmental cervical lordosis was also significantly increased from preop 8.22° to post op at 4 weeks (20.26°) and was maintained at post op 10weeks 20.30° and post op 6 months 19.56° (p<0.0005). C7-S1 SVA and C1-S1 SVA also significantly increased from 12.04mm preop to 27.49mm post op 4 wks (p<0.0005) and -1.93mm preop to 8.67mm post op (p<0.0005) respectively. A change in C2-C7 lordosis positively correlated with a change in C7-SVA and C1-SVA (r=0.37, P<0.005, and r=0.312, p<0.05 respectively).


Multilevel ACDF significantly increases and maintains both segmental and global cervical lordosis up to 6 months after surgery. Increasing C2-C7 global lordosis is correlated with increasing positive sagittal vertical axis. Level of evidence: IV.


ACDF; alignment; anterior cervical discectomy and fusion; cervical; lordosis; multilevel; sagittal vertical axis

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