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Rudolph J. Schrot, Jesna S. Mathew, Yueju Li, Laurel Beckett, Hyun W. Bae and Kee D. Kim

Object

The authors analyzed headache relief after anterior cervical discectomy. Headache may be relieved after anterior cervical discectomy, but the mechanism is unknown. If headaches were directly referred from upper cervical pathology, more headache relief would be expected from surgery performed at higher cervical levels. If spinal kinesthetics were the mechanism, then headache relief may differ between arthroplasty and fusion. Headache relief after anterior cervical discectomy was quantified by the operated disc level and by the method of operation (arthroplasty vs arthrodesis).

Methods

The authors performed a post hoc analysis of an artificial disc trial. Data on headache pain were extracted from the Neck Disability Index (NDI) questionnaire.

Results

A total of 260 patients underwent single-level arthroplasty or arthodesis. Preoperatively, 52% reported NDI headache scores of 3 or greater, compared with only 13%–17% postoperatively. The model-based mean NDI headache score at baseline was 2.5 (95% CI 2.3–2.7) and was reduced by 1.3 points after surgery (95% CI 1.2–1.4, p < 0.001). Higher cervical levels were associated with a greater degree of preoperative headache, but there was no association with headache relief. There was no significant difference in headache relief between arthroplasty and arthrodesis.

Conclusions

Most patients with symptomatic cervical spondylosis have headache as a preoperative symptom (88%). Anterior cervical discectomy with both arthroplasty and arthrodesis is associated with a durable decrease in headache. Headache relief is not related to the level of operation. The mechanism for headache reduction remains unclear.

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Ben B. Pradhan, Alexander W. L. Turner, Michael A. Zatushevsky, G. Bryan Cornwall, Sean S. Rajaee and Hyun W. Bae

Object

Traditional posterior pedicle screw fixation is well established as the standard for spinal stabilization following posterior or posterolateral lumbar fusion. In patients with lumbar spinal stenosis requiring segmental posterior instrumented fusion and decompression, interlaminar lumbar instrumented fusion (ILIF) is a potentially less invasive alternative with reduced morbidity and includes direct decompression assisted by an interlaminar allograft spacer stabilized by a spinous process plate. To date, there has been no biomechanical study on this technique. In the present study the biomechanical properties of the ILIF construct were evaluated using an in vitro cadaveric biomechanical analysis, and the results are presented in comparison with other posterior fixation techniques.

Methods

Eight L1–5 cadaveric specimens were subjected to nondestructive multidirectional testing. After testing the intact spine, the following conditions were evaluated at L3–4: bilateral pedicle screws, bilateral laminotomy, ILIF, partial laminectomy, partial laminectomy plus unilateral pedicle screws, and partial laminectomy plus bilateral screws. Intervertebral motions were measured at the index and adjacent levels.

Results

Bilateral pedicle screws without any destabilization provided the most rigid construct. In flexion and extension, ILIF resulted in significantly less motion than the intact spine (p < 0.05) and no significant difference from the laminectomy with bilateral pedicle screws (p = 0.76). In lateral bending, there was no statistical difference between ILIF and laminectomy with unilateral pedicle screws (p = 0.11); however, the bilateral screw constructs were more rigid (p < 0.05). Under axial rotation, ILIF was not statistically different from laminectomy with unilateral or bilateral pedicle screws or from the intact spine (p > 0.05). Intervertebral motions adjacent to ILIF were typically lower than those adjacent to laminectomy with bilateral pedicle screws.

Conclusions

Stability of the ILIF construct was not statistically different from bilateral pedicle screw fixation following laminectomy in the flexion and extension and axial rotation directions, while adjacent segment motions were decreased. The ILIF construct may allow surgeons to perform a minimally invasive, single-approach posterior decompression and instrumented fusion without the added morbidity of traditional pedicle screw fixation and posterolateral fusion.

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Robert J. Jackson, Reginald J. Davis, Gregory A. Hoffman, Hyun W. Bae, Michael S. Hisey, Kee D. Kim, Steven E. Gaede and Pierce Dalton Nunley

OBJECTIVE

Cervical total disc replacement (TDR) has been shown in a number of prospective clinical studies to be a viable treatment alternative to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) for the treatment of symptomatic degenerative disc disease. In addition to preserving motion, evidence suggests that cervical TDR may result in a lower incidence of subsequent surgical intervention than treatment with fusion. The goal of this study was to evaluate subsequent surgery rates up to 5 years in patients treated with TDR or ACDF at 1 or 2 contiguous levels between C-3 and C-7.

METHODS

This was a prospective, multicenter, randomized, unblinded clinical trial. Patients with symptomatic degenerative disc disease were enrolled to receive 1- or 2-level treatment with either TDR as the investigational device or ACDF as the control treatment. There were 260 patients in the 1-level study (179 TDR and 81 ACDF patients) and 339 patients in the 2-level study (234 TDR and 105 ACDF patients).

RESULTS

At 5 years, the occurrence of subsequent surgical intervention was significantly higher among ACDF patients for 1-level (TDR, 4.5% [8/179]; ACDF, 17.3% [14/81]; p = 0.0012) and 2-level (TDR, 7.3% [17/234]; ACDF, 21.0% [22/105], p = 0.0007) treatment. The TDR group demonstrated significantly fewer index- and adjacent-level subsequent surgeries in both the 1- and 2-level cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS

Five-year results showed treatment with cervical TDR to result in a significantly lower rate of subsequent surgical intervention than treatment with ACDF for both 1 and 2 levels of treatment.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00389597 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Reginald J. Davis, Kee D. Kim, Michael S. Hisey, Gregory A. Hoffman, Hyun W. Bae, Steven E. Gaede, Ralph F. Rashbaum, Pierce Dalton Nunley, Daniel L. Peterson and John K. Stokes

Object

Cervical total disc replacement (TDR) is intended to treat neurological symptoms and neck pain associated with degeneration of intervertebral discs in the cervical spine. Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) has been the standard treatment for these indications since the procedure was first developed in the 1950s. While TDR has been shown to be a safe and effective alternative to ACDF for treatment of patients with degenerative disc disease (DDD) at a single level of the cervical spine, few studies have focused on the safety and efficacy of TDR for treatment of 2 levels of the cervical spine. The primary objective of this study was to rigorously compare the Mobi-C cervical artificial disc to ACDF for treatment of cervical DDD at 2 contiguous levels of the cervical spine.

Methods

This study was a prospective, randomized, US FDA investigational device exemption pivotal trial of the Mobi-C cervical artificial disc conducted at 24 centers in the US. The primary clinical outcome was a composite measure of study success at 24 months. The comparative control treatment was ACDF using allograft bone and an anterior plate. A total of 330 patients were enrolled, randomized, and received study surgery. All patients were diagnosed with intractable symptomatic cervical DDD at 2 contiguous levels of the cervical spine between C-3 and C-7. Patients were randomized in a 2:1 ratio (TDR patients to ACDF patients).

Results

A total of 225 patients received the Mobi-C TDR device and 105 patients received ACDF. At 24 months only 3.0% of patients were lost to follow-up. On average, patients in both groups showed significant improvements in Neck Disability Index (NDI) score, visual analog scale (VAS) neck pain score, and VAS arm pain score from preoperative baseline to each time point. However, the TDR patients experienced significantly greater improvement than ACDF patients in NDI score at all time points and significantly greater improvement in VAS neck pain score at 6 weeks, and at 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively. On average, patients in the TDR group also maintained preoperative segmental range of motion at both treated segments immediately postoperatively and throughout the study period of 24 months. The reoperation rate was significantly higher in the ACDF group at 11.4% compared with 3.1% for the TDR group. Furthermore, at 24 months TDR demonstrated statistical superiority over ACDF based on overall study success rates.

Conclusions

The results of this study represent the first available Level I clinical evidence in support of cervical arthroplasty at 2 contiguous levels of the cervical spine using the Mobi-C cervical artificial disc. These results continue to support the use of cervical arthroplasty in general, but specifically demonstrate the advantages of 2-level arthroplasty over 2-level ACDF. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00389597 (ClinicalTrials.gov).

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Pierce D. Nunley, Marcus B. Stone, Michael S. Hisey, Kee D. Kim, Robert J. Jackson, Hyun W. Bae, Gregory A. Hoffman, Steven E. Gaede, Guy O. Danielson III, Charles Gordon, Reginald J. Davis and Bimal Rami

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Reginald J. Davis, Pierce Dalton Nunley, Kee D. Kim, Michael S. Hisey, Robert J. Jackson, Hyun W. Bae, Gregory A. Hoffman, Steven E. Gaede, Guy O. Danielson III, Charles Gordon and Marcus B. Stone

OBJECT

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of 2-level total disc replacement (TDR) using a Mobi-C cervical artificial disc at 48 months' follow-up.

METHODS

A prospective randomized, US FDA investigational device exemption pivotal trial of the Mobi-C cervical artificial disc was conducted at 24 centers in the US. Three hundred thirty patients with degenerative disc disease were randomized and treated with cervical total disc replacement (225 patients) or the control treatment, anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) (105 patients). Patients were followed up at regular intervals for 4 years after surgery.

RESULTS

At 48 months, both groups demonstrated improvement in clinical outcome measures and a comparable safety profile. Data were available for 202 TDR patients and 89 ACDF patients in calculation of the primary endpoint. TDR patients had statistically significantly greater improvement than ACDF patients for the following outcome measures compared with baseline: Neck Disability Index scores, 12-Item Short Form Health Survey Physical Component Summary scores, patient satisfaction, and overall success. ACDF patients experienced higher subsequent surgery rates and displayed a higher rate of adjacent-segment degeneration as seen on radiographs. Overall, TDR patients maintained segmental range of motion through 48 months with no device failure.

CONCLUSIONS

Four-year results from this study continue to support TDR as a safe, effective, and statistically superior alternative to ACDF for the treatment of degenerative disc disease at 2 contiguous cervical levels.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00389597 (clinicaltrials.gov)