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Feifei Zhou, Shuyang Li, Yanbin Zhao, Yilong Zhang, Kevin L. Ju, Fengshan Zhang, Shengfa Pan, and Yu Sun


The authors aimed to identify factors that may be useful for quantifying the amount of degenerative change in preoperative patients to identify ideal candidates for cervical disc replacement (CDR) in patients with a minimum of 10 years of follow-up data.


During the period from December 2003 to August 2008, 54 patients underwent CDR with a Bryan cervical disc prosthesis performed by the same group of surgeons, and all of the patients in this group with at least 10 years of follow-up data were enrolled in this retrospective analysis of cases. Postoperative bone formation was graded in radiographic images by using the McAfee classification for heterotopic ossification. Preoperative degeneration was evaluated in radiographs based on a quantitative scoring system. After univariate analysis, the authors performed multifactor logistic regression analysis to identify significant factors. To determine the cutoff points for the significant factors, a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was conducted.


Study patients had a mean age of 43.6 years and an average follow-up period of 120.3 months. The patients as a group had a 68.2% overall incidence of bone formation. Based on univariate analysis results, data for patient sex, disc height, and the presence of anterior osteophytes and endplate sclerosis were included in the multivariate analysis. According to the analysis results, the identified independent risk factors for postoperative bone formation included disc height, the presence of anterior osteophytes, and endplate sclerosis, and according to a quantitative scoring system for degeneration of the cervical spine based on these variables, the ROC curve indicated that the optimal cutoff scores for these risk factors were 0.5, 1.5, and 1.5, respectively.


Among the patients who were followed up for at least 10 years after CDR, the incidence of postoperative bone formation was relatively high. The study results indicate that the degree of degeneration in the target level before surgery has a positive correlation with the incidence of postoperative ossification. Rigorous indication criteria for postoperative ossification should be applied in patients for whom CDR may be a treatment option.