There are now 3 randomized, multicenter, US FDA investigational device exemption, industry-sponsored studies comparing arthroplasty with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) for single-level cervical disease with 2 years of follow-up. These 3 studies evaluated the Prestige ST, Bryan, and ProDisc-C artificial discs. The authors analyzed the combined results of these trials.
A total of 1213 patients with symptomatic, single-level cervical disc disease were randomized into 2 treatment arms in the 3 randomized trials. Six hundred twenty-one patients received an artificial cervical disc, and 592 patients were treated with ACDF. In the three trials, 94% of the arthroplasty group and 87% of the ACDF group have completed 2 years of follow-up. The authors analyzed the 2-year data from these 3 trials including previously unpublished source data. Statistical analysis was performed with fixed and random effects models.
The authors' analysis revealed that segmental sagittal motion was preserved with arthroplasty (preoperatively 7.26° and postoperatively 8.14°) at the 2-year time point. The fusion rate for ACDF at 2 years was 95%. The Neck Disability Index, 36-Item Short Form Health Survey Mental, and Physical Component Summaries, neck pain, and arm pain scores were not statistically different between the groups at the 24-month follow-up. The arthroplasty group demonstrated superior results at 24 months in neurological success (RR 0.595, I2 = 0%, p = 0.006). The arthroplasty group had a lower rate of secondary surgeries at the 2-year time point (RR 0.44, I2 = 0%, p = 0.004). At the 2-year time point, the reoperation rate for adjacent-level disease was lower for the arthroplasty group when the authors analyzed the combined data set using a fixed effects model (RR 0.460, I2 = 2.9%, p = 0.030), but this finding was not significant using a random effects model. Adverse event reporting was too heterogeneous between the 3 trials to combine for analysis.
Both anterior cervical discectomy and fusion as well as arthroplasty demonstrate excellent 2-year surgical results for the treatment of 1-level cervical disc disease with radiculopathy. Arthroplasty is associated with a lower rate of secondary surgery and a higher rate of neurological success at 2 years. Arthroplasty may be associated with a lower rate of adjacent-level disease at 2 years, but further follow-up and analysis are needed to confirm this finding.