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Domagoj Coric, John Parish, and Margaret O. Boltes

There has been a steady evolution of cervical total disc replacement (TDR) devices over the last decade resulting in surgical technique that closely mimics anterior cervical discectomy and fusion as well as disc design that emphasizes quality of motion. The M6-C TDR device is a modern-generation artificial disc composed of titanium endplates with tri-keel fixation as well as a polyethylene weave with a polyurethane core. Although not yet approved by the FDA, M6-C has finished a pilot and pivotal US Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) study. The authors present the surgical technique for implantation of a 2-level M6-C cervical TDR device.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/rFEAqINLRCo.

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Domagoj Coric, Kenneth Pettine, Andrew Sumich, and Margaret O. Boltes

Object

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the safety and initial efficacy of NuQu allogeneic juvenile chondrocytes delivered percutaneously for the treatment of lumbar spondylosis with mechanical low-back pain (LBP). NuQu is a cell-based biological therapy for disc repair. The authors report the results at 12 months of the NuQu Phase I investigational new drug (IND) single-arm, prospective feasibility study for the treatment of LBP for single-level degenerative disc disease (Pfirrman Grades III–IV) at L3–S1.

Methods

Fifteen patients (6 women and 9 men) were enrolled at 2 sites. Institutional review board approval was obtained, and all patients signed a study-specific informed consent. All patients have completed a minimum of 1 year of follow-up.

Patients were evaluated pretreatment and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months posttreatment. Evaluations included routine neurological examinations, serum liver and renal function studies, MRI, the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS), and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36).

Results

Fifteen patients were treated with a single percutaneous delivery of NuQu juvenile chondrocytes. The mean patient age was 40 years (19–47 years). Each treatment consisted of 1–2 ml (mean injection 1.3 ml) of juvenile chondrocytes (approximately 107 chondrocyte cells/ml) with fibrin carrier. The mean peak pressure during treatment was 87.6 psi. The treatment time ranged from 5 to 33 seconds.

The mean ODI (baseline 53.3, 12-month 20.3; p < 0.0001), NRS (baseline 5.7, 12-month 3.1; p = 0.0025), and SF-36 physical component summary (baseline 35.3, 12-month 46.9; p = 0.0002) scores all improved significantly from baseline. At the 6-month follow-up, 13 patients underwent MRI (one patient underwent CT imaging and another refused imaging). Ten (77%) of these 13 patients exhibited improvements on MRI. Three of these patients showed improvement in disc contour or height. High-intensity zones (HIZs), consistent with posterior anular tears, were present at baseline in 9 patients. Of these, the HIZ was either absent or improved in 8 patients (89%) by 6 months. The HIZ was improved in the ninth patient at 3 months, with no further MRI follow-up. Of the 10 patients who exhibited radiological improvement at 6 months, findings continued to improve or were sustained in 8 patients at the 12-month follow-up. No patient experienced neurological deterioration. There were no disc infections, and there were no serious or unexpected adverse events. Three patients (20%) underwent total disc replacement by the 12-month follow-up due to persistent, but not worse than baseline, LBP.

Conclusions

This is a 12-month report of the clinical and radiographic results from a US IND study of cell-based therapy (juvenile chondrocytes) in the treatment of lumbar spondylosis with mechanical LBP. The results of this prospective cohort are promising and warrant further investigation with a prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study design. Clinical trial registration no.: BB-IND 13985.

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Domagoj Coric, Paul K. Kim, Jonathan D. Clemente, Margaret O. Boltes, Marcy Nussbaum, and Sara James

Object

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term results of cervical total disc replacement (TDR) and anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in the treatment of single-level cervical radiculopathy.

Methods

The results of 2 separate prospective, randomized, US FDA Investigational Device Exemption pivotal trials (Bryan Disc and Kineflex|C) from a single investigational site were combined to evaluate outcomes at long-term follow-up. The primary clinical outcome measures included the Neck Disability Index (NDI), visual analog scale (VAS), and neurological examination. Patients were randomized to receive cervical TDR in 2 separate prospective, randomized studies using the Bryan Disc or Kineflex|C cervical artificial disc compared with ACDF using structural allograft and an anterior plate. Patients were evaluated preoperatively; at 6 weeks; at 3, 6, and 12 months; and then yearly for a minimum of 48 months. Plain radiographs were obtained at each study visit.

Results

A total of 74 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to either the cervical TDR (n = 41) or ACDF (n = 33) group. A total of 63 patients (86%) completed a minimum of 4 years follow-up. Average follow-up was 6 years (72 months) with a range from 48 to 108 months. In both the cervical TDR and ACDF groups, mean NDI scores improved significantly by 6 weeks after surgery and remained significantly improved throughout the minimum 48-month follow-up (p < 0.001). Similarly, the median VAS pain scores improved significantly by 6 weeks and remained significantly improved throughout the minimum 48-month follow-up (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences between groups in mean NDI or median VAS scores. The range of motion (ROM) in the cervical TDR group remained significantly greater than the preoperative mean, whereas the ROM in the ACDF group was significantly reduced from the preoperative mean. There was significantly greater ROM in the cervical TDR group compared with the ACDF group. There were 3 reoperations (7.3%) at index or adjacent levels in the cervical TDR group; all were cervical laminoforaminotomies. There were 2 adjacent-level reoperations in the cervical TDR group (4.9%). There was 1 reoperation (3.0%) in the ACDF group at an index or adjacent level (a second ACDF at the adjacent level). There was no statistically significant difference in overall reoperation rate or adjacent-level reoperation rate between groups.

Conclusions

Both cervical TDR and ACDF groups showed excellent clinical outcomes that were maintained over long-term follow-up. Both groups showed low index-level and adjacent-level reoperation rates. Both cervical TDR and ACDF appear to be viable options for the treatment of single-level cervical radiculopathy.

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Domagoj Coric, Joseph Cassis, John D. Carew, and Margaret O. Boltes

Object

Cervical total disc replacement (TDR) was developed to address some of the shortcomings associated with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) by preserving motion at the treated level. To establish an evidence-based rationale for cervical TDR to serve as a viable alternative to ACDF, cervical arthroplasty must establish equivalent or superior clinical outcomes while maintaining motion. The authors report on 98 patients from a single investigational site involved in 3 separate prospective, randomized, controlled investigational device exemption multicenter trials comparing cervical arthroplasty to ACDF with a 2–6-year follow-up.

Methods

Patients with 1- and 2-level cervical disc disease producing radiculopathy and/or myelopathy were randomized prospectively under 3 separate investigational device exemption pivotal trials to undergo ACDF with plate or artificial disc placement. The 3 arthroplasty systems evaluated were the Bryan cervical disc, Kineflex/C disc, and Discover cervical disc. The patients were evaluated with pre- and postoperative serial neurological examinations, radiographs, and clinical outcome indices at 1, 3, 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 months.

Results

Ninety-eight patients were treated at the authors' single investigational site. Fifty-seven of these patients underwent cervical arthroplasty and 41 underwent ACDF. A minimum 24-month follow-up was available for 90 patients (92%; 53 in the combined arthroplasty group and 37 in the combined ACDF group) with a follow-up duration ranging from 24 to 67 months (mean 38 months). Clinical success, defined as a composite measure consisting of 5 separate components, was significantly higher in the combined arthroplasty group (85%) compared with the combined ACDF group (70%; p = 0.035). The Neck Disability Index and visual analog scale patient self-report measures were evaluated at 3–24-months follow-up, and all groups showed excellent clinical outcomes. All groups (Bryan, Kineflex/C, Discover, and ACDF) showed statistically significant improvement from the preoperative period to a minimum 2-year follow-up (p < 0.0001). Overall, angular motion was improved by 0.91° in the combined arthroplasty group and reduced by 7.8° in the combined ACDF group (p < 0.0001). In the ACDF group there was a fusion rate of 97% (36 of 37 cases). In the arthroplasty group there was a 5.6% incidence of bridging heterotopic ossification (3 cases). There were a total of 4 reoperations (7.5%) in the combined arthroplasty group with 1 (1.9%) at the adjacent level. There were 3 reoperations (8.1%) in the ACDF group, all at the adjacent level.

Conclusions

The prospective, intermediate-term (average follow-up > 3 years) results of cervical TDR at the authors' site are encouraging. Patients treated with the artificial discs showed significantly better clinical results, maintained motion at the treated level, and trended toward less adjacent-level disease.

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Domagoj Coric, Richard D. Guyer, Pierce D. Nunley, David Musante, Cameron Carmody, Charles Gordon, Carl Lauryssen, Margaret O. Boltes, and Donna D. Ohnmeiss

OBJECTIVE

Seven cervical total disc replacement (TDR) devices have received FDA approval since 2006. These devices represent a heterogeneous assortment of implants made from various biomaterials with different biomechanical properties. The majority of these devices are composed of metallic endplates with a polymer core. In this prospective, randomized multicenter study, the authors evaluate the safety and efficacy of a metal-on-metal (MoM) TDR (Kineflex|C) versus anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in the treatment of single-level spondylosis with radiculopathy through a long-term (5-year) follow-up.

METHODS

An FDA-regulated investigational device exemption (IDE) pivotal trial was conducted at 21 centers across the United States. Standard validated outcome measures including the Neck Disability Index (NDI) and visual analog scale (VAS) for assessing pain were used. Patients were randomized to undergo TDR using the Kineflex|C cervical artificial disc or anterior cervical fusion using structural allograft and an anterior plate. Patients were evaluated preoperatively and at 6 weeks and 3, 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 months after surgery. Serum ion analysis was performed on a subset of patients randomized to receive the MoM TDR.

RESULTS

A total of 269 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to undergo either TDR (136 patients) or ACDF (133 patients). There were no significant differences between the TDR and ACDF groups in terms of operative time, blood loss, or length of hospital stay. In both groups, the mean NDI scores improved significantly by 6 weeks after surgery and remained significantly improved throughout the 60-month follow-up (both p < 0.01). Similarly, VAS pain scores improved significantly by 6 weeks and remained significantly improved through the 60-month follow-up (both p < 0.01). There were no significant changes in outcomes between the 24- and 60-month follow-ups in either group. Range of motion in the TDR group decreased at 3 months but was significantly greater than the preoperative mean value at the 12- and 24-month follow-ups and remained significantly improved through the 60-month period. There were no significant differences between the 2 groups in terms of reoperation/revision surgery or device-/surgery-related adverse events. The serum ion analysis revealed cobalt and chromium levels significantly lower than the levels that merit monitoring.

CONCLUSIONS

Cervical TDR with an MoM device is safe and efficacious at the 5-year follow-up. These results from a prospective randomized study support that Kineflex|C TDR as a viable alternative to ACDF in appropriately selected patients with cervical radiculopathy.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00374413 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Domagoj Coric, Richard D. Guyer, Hyun Bae, Pierce D. Nunley, K. Brandon Strenge, John H. Peloza, Margaret O. Boltes, and Donna D. Ohnmeiss

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a PEEK-on-ceramic cervical total disc replacement (cTDR) device for the treatment of 2-level cervical disc disease with radiculopathy and/or myelopathy.

METHODS

The study was a prospective, nonrandomized, historically controlled FDA investigational device exemption trial evaluating the Simplify Cervical Artificial Disc for use at 2 levels. The anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) control group was derived from a propensity score–matched (using subclassification) cohort of patients who participated in an earlier prospective trial in which similar indications were used. The follow-up duration was 24 months. The primary outcome was a 4-point composite success classification. Other validated clinical and radiographic assessments were also evaluated.

RESULTS

The investigational group (n = 182) was compared with patients who underwent ACDF (n = 170) in a historical control group using propensity score analysis. The overall composite success rate was statistically significantly greater in the cTDR group compared with the ACDF group (86.7% vs 77.1%; p < 0.05). The mean Neck Disability Index scores improved significantly in both groups, with cTDR significantly lower at some follow-up points. At the 24-month follow-up, a minimum 15-point improvement in Neck Disability Index scores was achieved in 92.9% of the cTDR group and 83.5% of the ACDF group (p > 0.05). In both groups, neck and arm pain scores improved significantly (p < 0.05) by 6 weeks and improvement was maintained throughout follow-up. Segmental range of motion was maintained at both treated segments in the cTDR group. MRI performed in the cTDR group at 24 months postoperatively found minimal changes in facet joint degeneration. The rate of subsequent surgical intervention was 2.2% in the cTDR group and 8.8% in the ACDF group.

CONCLUSIONS

This study adds to the growing body of literature supporting cTDR for 2-level cervical disc disease with radiculopathy or myelopathy. cTDR showed a superior overall success rate compared to ACDF, while maintaining motion. These results support that the Simplify disc is a viable alternative to ACDF in appropriately selected patients with 2-level cervical spondylosis.

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Domagoj Coric, Pierce D. Nunley, Richard D. Guyer, David Musante, Cameron N. Carmody, Charles R. Gordon, Carl Lauryssen, Donna D. Ohnmeiss, and Margaret O. Boltes

Object

Cervical total disc replacement (CTDR) represents a relatively novel procedure intended to address some of the shortcomings associated with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) by preserving motion at the treated level. This prospective, randomized, multicenter study evaluates the safety and efficacy of a new metal-on-metal CTDR implant (Kineflex|C) by comparing it with ACDF in the treatment of single-level spondylosis with radiculopathy.

Methods

The study was a prospective, randomized US FDA Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) pivotal trial conducted at 21 centers across the US. The primary clinical outcome measures included the Neck Disability Index (NDI), visual analog scale (VAS) scores, and a composite measure of clinical success. Patients were randomized to CTDR using the Kineflex|C (SpinalMotion, Inc.) cervical artificial disc or ACDF using structural allograft and an anterior plate.

Results

A total of 269 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to either CTDR (136 patients) or to ACDF (133 patients). There were no significant differences between the CTDR and ACDF groups when comparing operative time, blood loss, length of hospital stay, or the reoperation rate at the index level. The overall success rate was significantly greater in the CTDR group (85%) compared with the ACDF group (71%) (p = 0.05). In both groups, the mean NDI scores improved significantly by 6 weeks after surgery and remained significantly improved throughout the 24-month follow-up (p < 0.0001). Similarly, the VAS pain scores improved significantly by 6 weeks and remained significantly improved through the 24-month follow-up (p < 0.0001). The range of motion (ROM) in the CTDR group decreased at 3 months but was significantly greater than the preoperative mean at 12- and 24-month follow-up. The ROM in the ACDF group was significantly reduced by 3 months and remained so throughout the follow-up. Adjacent-level degeneration was also evaluated in both groups from preoperatively to 2-year follow-up and was classified as none, mild, moderate, or severe. Preoperatively, there were no significant differences between groups when evaluating the different levels of adjacent-level degeneration. At the 2-year follow-up, there were significantly more patients in the ACDF group with severe adjacent-level radiographic changes (p < 0.0001). However, there were no significant differences between groups in adjacent-level reoperation rate (7.6% for the Kineflex|C group and 6.1% for the ACDF group).

Conclusions

Cervical total disc replacement allows for neural decompression and clinical results comparable to ACDF. Kineflex|C was associated with a significantly greater overall success rate than fusion while maintaining motion at the index level. Furthermore, there were significantly fewer Kineflex|C patients showing severe adjacent-level radiographic changes at the 2-year follow-up. These results from a prospective, randomized study support that Kineflex|C CTDR is a viable alternative to ACDF in select patients with cervical radiculopathy.