Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is the classic surgical treatment for symptomatic cervical degenerative disc disease (CDDD). However, there is controversy over the best surgical management in patients with two noncontiguous symptomatic levels of CDDD.
From April 2011 to May 2014, 44 patients with two noncontiguous symptomatic levels of CDDD underwent skip-level ACDFs. In Group NoPlate, 23 cases underwent 2 noncontiguous levels of ACDF using zero-profile anchored spacer; and in Group Plate, 21 cases underwent 2 noncontiguous levels of ACDF using cages and plates. Operation-related paraeters for each group were recorded and compared. Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) scores and Neck Disability Index (NDI) scores at preoperation and postoperation were compared with at least a 2-year follow-up. Cervical lordosis was analyzed before surgery, 1 month after surgery, 3 months after surgery, and at final follow-up.
Mean follow-up was 35.4 ± 6.5 (range 24–48) months. Significant improvement on the JOA, NDI scores and cervical lordosis was noted in each group (p < 0.05), and there were no significant difference in terms of JOA, NDI scores, cervical lordosis and fusion rate between the two groups (P > 0.05). The operation time in Group NoPlate was significantly shorter than in Group Plate (p < 0.05), and the incidence of dysphagia and adjacent segment degeneration in Group NoPlate was significantly lower than in Group Plate (p < 0.05).
ROI-C and cages with plate fixation were both effective in two-level noncontiguous ACDF, and there were no significant difference in clinical outcomes, fusion rate, and cervical lordosis. However, ROI-C was associated with shorter operative time, lower incidence of dysphagia and adjacent segment degeneration.