28 March 2019
cervical disc arthroplasty, CDA, anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, ACDF, cervical degenerative disc disease, CDDD, meta-analysis, randomized controlled trial, RCT, cervical total disc replacement, CTDR
Cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) has become an alternative treatment for cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy. This technique preserves appropriate motion at both the index and adjacent disc levels and consequently may prevent adjacent segment degeneration (ASD). The authors performed a meta-analysis to compare the safety and efficacy of CDA to those of the gold standard, anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). Both surgical and clinical parameters were employed to verify the hypothesis that CDA can reduce the risk of ASD.
The meta-analysis comprised high-quality randomized controlled trials that compared CDA and ACDF treatments of cervical degenerative disc disease. Included papers reported data for at least one of the following outcomes: 1) surgical parameters, 2) questionnaire clinical indices (pre- and postoperative values), and 3) complication rates at 24 months; in addition, for ASD we analyzed 60 month or longer follow-ups. We used mean differences (MDs) or ORs to compare treatment effects between CDA and ACDF.
Twenty studies with 3,656 patients (2,140 with CDA and 1,516 with ACDF) met the inclusion criteria. CDA surgery, with mean duration longer than that of ACDF, was associated with higher blood loss. Visual analog scale neck pain score was significantly smaller for CDA (mean difference =−2.30, 95% CI [−3.72; −0.87], P=0.002). The frequency of dysphagia/dysphonia (OR =0.69, 95% CI [0.49; 0.98], P=0.04) as well as the long-term ASD rate for CDA was significantly smaller (OR =0.33, 95% CI [0.21; 0.50], P<0.0001).
A significantly lower probability of ASD reoperations in the CDA cohort after a 60-month or longer follow-up was the most important finding of this study. Despite the moderate quality of this evidence, the pooled data corroborated for the very first time that CDA was efficacious in preventing ASD.