Whether anterior cervical discectomy with fusion (ACDF) or anterior cervical corpectomy with fusion (ACCF) is superior in the treatment of cervical spondylotic myelopathy remains controversial. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis to quantitatively compare the efficacy and safety of ACDF and ACCF in the treatment of cervical spondylotic myelopathy.
PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, SinoMed (Chinese BioMedical Literature Service System, People’s Republic of China), and CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure, People’s Republic of China) were systematically searched to identify all available studies comparing efficacy and safety between patients receiving ACDF and ACCF. The weighted mean difference (WMD) was pooled to compare the Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores, visual analog scale scores, hospital stay, operation time, and blood loss. The risk ratio was pooled to compare the incidence of complications and fusion rate. Pooled estimates were calculated by using a fixed-effects model or a random-effects model according to the heterogeneity among studies.
Eighteen studies (17 observational studies and one randomized controlled trial) were included in this meta-analysis. Our results suggest that hospital stay (WMD =−1.33, 95% confidence interval [CI]: −2.29, −0.27; P=0.014), operation time (WMD =−26.9, 95% CI: −46.13, −7.67; P=0.006), blood loss (WMD =−119.36, 95% CI: −166.94, −71.77; P=0.000), and incidence of complications (risk ratio =0.51, 95% CI: 0.33, 0.80; P=0.003) in the ACDF group were significantly less than that in the ACCF group. However, other clinical outcomes, including post-Japanese Orthopaedic Association score (WMD =−0.27, 95% CI: −0.57, 0.03; P=0.075), visual analog scale score (WMD =0.03, 95% CI: −1.44, 1.50; P=0.970), and fusion rate (risk ratio =1.04, 95% CI: 0.99, 1.09; P=0.158), between the two groups were not significantly different.
Evidence from the meta-analysis of 18 studies demonstrated that surgical options of cervical spondylotic myelopathy using ACDF or ACCF seemed to have similar clinical outcomes. However, ACDF was found to be superior to ACCF in terms of hospital stay, operation time, blood loss, and incidence of complications.