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Diego A. Carrera and Christian B. Ricks


Cervical disc replacement (CDR) is an increasingly used alternative to fusion for symptomatic cervical disc disease. While more studies have suggested favorability of CDR over fusion procedures, limited data exist regarding implant fatigability. Here, the authors present a unique and previously unreported failure of the M6-C prosthesis causing spinal cord injury.


A 49-year-old female with history of cervical degenerative disease and prior C4–7 M6-C arthroplasty presented 9 years later after a minor fall from standing. She endorsed bilateral hand numbness ascending to forearms and shoulders, with dysesthesias and weakness. Imaging showed fractured arthroplasty penetrating the spinal cord. Revision surgery found a ruptured arthroplasty annulus with metal piece piercing the spinal cord. Partial C4 and C5 corpectomy was performed to remove the integrated fins of the arthroplasty and inspect the cord and dura. This was reconstructed with a corpectomy cage and plate. The patient made an excellent recovery, with improvement in her weakness and resolution of her sensory symptoms.


Possibility of fatigue-related failures presenting years after implantation have only been infrequently reported but can be catastrophic for patients. The authors encourage further discussions in this area, increased counseling with patients, and recommend a patient registry to better document adverse events.

Free access

Gurpreet S. Gandhoke, Christian Ricks, Zachary Tempel, Brian Zuckerbraun, D. Kojo Hamilton, David O. Okonkwo, and Adam S. Kanter

In deformity surgery, anterior lumbar interbody fusion provides excellent biomechanical support, creates a broad surface area for arthrodesis, and induces lordosis in the lower lumbar spine. Preoperative MRI, plain radiographs, and, when available, CT scan should be carefully assessed for sacral slope as it relates to pubic symphysis, position of the great vessels (especially at L4/5), disc space height, or contraindication to an anterior approach. This video demonstrates the steps in an anterior surgical procedure with minimal open exposure.

The video can be found here:

Restricted access

Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010