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Two-level cervical disc replacement: perspectives and patient selection

Authors Narain AS, Hijji FY, Bohl DD, Yom KH, Kudaravalli KT, Singh K

Received 5 October 2016

Accepted for publication 6 January 2017

Published 9 February 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 1—8


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Luigi Bonavina

Ankur S Narain, Fady Y Hijji, Daniel D Bohl, Kelly H Yom, Krishna T Kudaravalli, Kern Singh

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA

Introduction: Cervical disc replacement (CDR) is an emerging treatment option for cervical degenerative disease. Postulated benefits of cervical disc replacement compared to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion include preserved motion at the operative segments and decreased motion at adjacent levels. Multiple studies have been performed investigating the outcomes of CDR in single-level pathology. The investigation of the use of CDR in two-level pathology is an emerging topic within the literature.
Purpose: To critically evaluate the literature regarding two-level CDR in order to determine its utility compared to two-level cervical arthrodesis. Patient selection factors including indications and contraindications will also be explored.
Methods: The PubMed database was searched for all articles published on the subject of two-level CDR up until October 2016. Studies were classified by publication year, study design, sample size, follow-up interval, and conflict of interest. Outcomes were recorded from each study, and included data on patient-reported outcomes, radiographic measurements, range of motion, peri- and postoperative complications, heterotopic ossification, adjacent segment disease, reoperation rate, and total intervention cost.
Results: Fourteen studies were included in this review. All studies demonstrated at least noninferiority of two-level CDR compared to both two-level arthrodesis and single-level CDR. Patient selection in two-level CDR is driven by the inclusion and exclusion criteria presented in prospective, randomized controlled trials. The most common indication is subaxial degenerative disc disease over two contiguous levels presenting with radiculopathy or myelopathy. Furthermore, costs analyses trended toward at least noninferiority of two-level CDR.
Conclusion: Two-level CDR is noninferior to two-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion in terms of both outcomes and costs. While a few studies suggested superiority of two-level CDR, the presence of significant conflicts of interest by the study authors may introduce bias. Further prospective, randomized trials without conflicts of interest are necessary to determine if two-level CDR demonstrates truly superior outcomes.

cervical disc replacement, anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, two-level, patient selection, outcomes, conflict of interest

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