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Matthew W. Colman, Athan G. Zavras, Vincent P. Federico, Michael T. Nolte, Alexander J. Butler, Kern Singh, and Frank M. Phillips

OBJECTIVE

Total disc arthroplasty (TDA) has been shown to be an effective and safe treatment for cervical degenerative disc disease at short- and midterm follow-up. However, there remains a paucity of literature reporting the differences between individual prosthesis designs with regard to device performance. In this study, the authors evaluated the long-term maintenance of segmental range of motion (ROM) at the operative cervical level across a diverse range of TDA devices.

METHODS

In this study, the authors retrospectively evaluated all consecutive patients who underwent 1- or 2-level cervical TDA between 2005 and 2020 at a single institution. Patients with a minimum of 6 months of follow-up and lateral flexion/extension radiographs preoperatively, 2 months postoperatively, and at final follow-up were included. Radiographic measurements included static segmental lordosis, segmental range of motion (ROM) on flexion/extension, global cervical (C2–7) ROM on flexion/extension, and disc space height. The paired t-test was used to evaluate improvement in radiographic parameters. Subanalysis between devices was performed using one-way ANCOVA. Significance was determined at p < 0.05.

RESULTS

A total of 85 patients (100 discs) were included, with a mean patient age of 46.01 ± 8.82 years and follow-up of 43.56 ± 39.36 months. Implantations included 22 (22.00%) M6-C, 51 (51.00%) Mobi-C, 14 (14.00%) PCM, and 13 (13.00%) ProDisc-C devices. There were no differences in baseline radiographic parameters between groups. At 2 months postoperatively, PCM provided significantly less segmental lordosis (p = 0.037) and segmental ROM (p = 0.039). At final follow-up, segmental ROM with both the PCM and ProDisc-C devices was significantly less than that with the M6-C and Mobi-C devices (p = 0.015). From preoperatively to 2 months postoperatively, PCM implantation led to a significant loss of lordosis (p < 0.001) and segmental ROM (p = 0.005) relative to the other devices. Moreover, a significantly greater decline in segmental ROM from 2 months postoperatively to final follow-up was seen with ProDisc-C, while segmental ROM increased significantly over time with Mobi-C (p = 0.049).

CONCLUSIONS

Analysis by TDA device brand demonstrated that motion preservation differs depending on disc design. Certain devices, including M6-C and Mobi-C, improve ROM on flexion/extension from preoperatively to postoperatively and continue to increase slightly at final follow-up. On the other hand, devices such as PCM and ProDisc-C contributed to greater segmental stiffness, with a gradual decline in ROM seen with ProDisc-C. Further studies are needed to understand how much segmental ROM is ideal after TDA for preservation of physiological cervical kinematics.

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Athan G. Zavras, Navya Dandu, Michael T. Nolte, Alexander J. Butler, Vincent P. Federico, Arash J. Sayari, T. Barrett Sullivan, and Matthew W. Colman

OBJECTIVE

As an alternative procedure to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, total disc arthroplasty (TDA) facilitates direct neural decompression and disc height restoration while also preserving cervical spine kinematics. To date, few studies have reported long-term functional outcomes after TDA. This paper reports the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis that investigated how segmental range of motion (ROM) at the operative level is maintained with long-term follow-up.

METHODS

PubMed and MEDLINE were queried for all published studies pertaining to cervical TDA. The methodology for screening adhered strictly to the PRISMA guidelines. All English-language prospective studies that reported ROM preoperatively, 1 year postoperatively, and/or at long-term follow-up of 5 years or more were included. A meta-analysis was performed using Cochran’s Q and I2 to test data for statistical heterogeneity, in which case a random-effects model was used. The mean differences (MDs) and associated 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were reported.

RESULTS

Of the 12 studies that met the inclusion criteria, 8 reported the long-term outcomes of 944 patients with an average (range) follow-up of 99.86 (60–142) months and were included in the meta-analysis. There was no difference between preoperative segmental ROM and segmental ROM at 1-year follow-up (MD 0.91°, 95% CI −1.25° to 3.07°, p = 0.410). After the exclusion of 1 study from the comparison between preoperative and 1-year ROM owing to significant statistical heterogeneity according to the sensitivity analysis, ROM significantly improved at 1 year postoperatively (MD 1.92°, 95% CI 1.04°–2.79°, p < 0.001). However, at longer-term follow-up, the authors again found no difference with preoperative segmental ROM, and no study was excluded on the basis of the results of further sensitivity analysis (MD −0.22°, 95% CI −1.69° to −1.23°, p = 0.760). In contrast, there was a significant decrease in ROM from 1 year postoperatively to final long-term follow-up (MD −0.77°, 95% CI −1.29° to −0.24°, p = 0.004).

CONCLUSIONS

Segmental ROM was found to initially improve beyond preoperative values for as long as 1 year postoperatively, but then ROM deteriorated back to values consistent with preoperative motion at long-term follow-up. Although additional studies with further longitudinal follow-up are needed, these findings further support the notion that cervical TDA may successfully maintain physiological spinal kinematics over the long term.