Background context: Single-level corpectomy and two-level discectomy with anterior cervical plating have been reported to have comparable fusion and complication rates. However, there are few large series that have compared the two for sagittal alignment, cervical lordosis, graft subsidence, and adjacent-level ossification. Purpose: To determine the differences between these two procedures for patients with two-level spondylosis by comparing the pre- and postoperative radiographic data. Study design: Retrospective review of prospectively collected data in an academic institution. Patient sample: Fifty-two with a single-level corpectomy and 45 with a two-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). Outcome measures: Pre- and postoperative radiographic data for sagittal alignment, cervical lordosis, subsidence, and adjacent-level ossification. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the lateral cervical radiographs of patients who had a solid fusion after a single-level cervical corpectomy or a two-level ACDF for the treatment of a degenerative cervical spondylosis by a surgeon at an academic institution. The choice of the operation was dependent on the presence or absence of retrovertebral compression. All patients underwent anterior cervical fusion using fibula strut allograft and variable-angle screw-plate fixation. None had had prior cervical spine surgery. Twenty-five were excluded because of inadequate radiographs and follow-up. There were 52 with a single-level corpectomy and 45 with a two-level ACDF. The following were analyzed: 1) sagittal alignment (modified method of Toyama); 2) cervical lordosis measured by Cobb angles of fusion constructs (fusion Cobb) and C2-C7 (C2-C7 Cobb); 3) graft collapse determined by the subsidence of anterior/posterior body height of fused segments (anterior/posterior subsidence) and the cranial/caudal plate-to-disc distances (cranial/caudal subsidence), and the difference between anterior and posterior body height for the fused levels (anteroposterior [AP] difference); and 4) the severity of ossification at two adjacent levels. Results: The mean durations of follow-up were 23.3±6.6 (corpectomy) and 25.7±6.2 (ACDF) months, range 12 to 45 months. There were no significant differences between the two groups in sagittal alignment, cervical lordosis, graft collapse, and adjacent-level ossification. Graft subsidence and loss of cervical lordosis occurred significantly more during the first 6 weeks after surgery (all measurements, p<.0001) than after 6 weeks, with no significant difference between the two groups. Posterior and caudal end plate subsidence significantly progressed after 6 weeks in Group 1 (p=.04, p=.02). The final follow-up Cobb angle positively correlated with preoperative and immediate postoperative Cobb angles (r=0.437, p<.0001; r=0.727, p<.0001), caudal subsidence (r=0.270, p=.008), and the final AP difference (r=0.915, p<.0001) but did not correlate with surgery level, preoperative and final sagittal alignments, anterior/posterior subsidence, and cranial subsidence. Anterior/posterior subsidence was significantly more strongly related with caudal subsidence (r=0.607, p<.0001; r=0.424, p<.0001) than cranial (r=0.277, p=.007; r=0.211, p=.040) but did not correlate with pre- and postoperative fusion Cobb, and preoperative and the last sagittal alignments. Conclusions: Our data suggest that the two procedures yield comparable results in terms of sagittal alignment, cervical lordosis, graft subsidence, and adjacent-level ossification. Graft subsidence and loss of cervical lordosis appeared to occur mainly during the first 6 weeks after surgery. Single-level corpectomy and fusion continued to subside at the posterior portion of caudal end plate even after 6 weeks. On the other hand, graft subsidence did not correlate with preoperative and final postoperative sagittal alignments.
- Cervical spine
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Clinical Neurology