The use of carbon fiber cages in anterior cervical interbody fusion

Report of 100 cases

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Object

Cage devices were introduced in spinal fusion to overcome the shortcomings of autograft, allograft, and biocompatible implants. The aim of this study was to assess the short-term results of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in which an interbody carbon fiber cage (CFC) and local osteophyte–derived bone graft were implanted.

Methods

A retrospective review was conducted of 100 consecutive patients treated by ACDF in which a CFC was packed with bone fragments obtained from osteophytes at the surgical site. Plain radiographs with dynamic lateral views obtained 1 year postoperatively were used to assess bone fusion, alignment of the cervical spine, and stability. Dynamic radiographs were also obtained at last follow up to determine whether loss of cervical alignment or collapse at the fused disc had occurred.

The mean follow-up period was 25 months. In all cases the cervical lordosis was maintained or corrected to different extents and disc height was restored. Solid fusion was achieved in 98% of the cases. There were no cage-related complications and no cases of cage failure.

Conclusions

The authors conclude that application of the CFC for ACDF is safe, effective, and technically feasible. Osteophytes resected during surgery may be a good alternative material for bone grafting in cage-assisted cervical interbody fusion.

Abbreviations used in this paper:ACD = anterior cervical discectomy; ACDF = ACF and fusion; CFC = carbon fiber cage; MR = magnetic resonance; VB = vertebral body.

Object

Cage devices were introduced in spinal fusion to overcome the shortcomings of autograft, allograft, and biocompatible implants. The aim of this study was to assess the short-term results of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in which an interbody carbon fiber cage (CFC) and local osteophyte–derived bone graft were implanted.

Methods

A retrospective review was conducted of 100 consecutive patients treated by ACDF in which a CFC was packed with bone fragments obtained from osteophytes at the surgical site. Plain radiographs with dynamic lateral views obtained 1 year postoperatively were used to assess bone fusion, alignment of the cervical spine, and stability. Dynamic radiographs were also obtained at last follow up to determine whether loss of cervical alignment or collapse at the fused disc had occurred.

The mean follow-up period was 25 months. In all cases the cervical lordosis was maintained or corrected to different extents and disc height was restored. Solid fusion was achieved in 98% of the cases. There were no cage-related complications and no cases of cage failure.

Conclusions

The authors conclude that application of the CFC for ACDF is safe, effective, and technically feasible. Osteophytes resected during surgery may be a good alternative material for bone grafting in cage-assisted cervical interbody fusion.

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Article Information

Address reprint requests to: Khalil Salame, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, 6 Weizmann Street, Tel Aviv, 64239, Israel. email: salame@tasmc.health.gov.il.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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