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08.01.2019 | Review Article | Ausgabe 4/2019

International Orthopaedics 4/2019

Evidence-based use of arthroplasty in cervical degenerative disc disease

International Orthopaedics > Ausgabe 4/2019
Andrei F. Joaquim, Melvin C. Makhni, K. Daniel Riew
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Cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) was developed to decrease the rate of symptomatic adjacent-level disease while preserving motion in the cervical spine.


The objectives of this paper are to provide criteria for proper patient selection as well as to present a comprehensive literature review of the current evidence for CDA, including randomized studies, the most recent meta-analysis findings, and long-term follow-up clinical trials as well.


Currently, there are several prospective randomized controlled studies of level I of evidence attesting to the safety and efficacy of CDA in the management of cervical spondylotic disease (CSD) for one- or two-level degenerative diseases. These as well as recent meta-analyses suggest that CDA is potentially similar or even superior to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) when considering several outcomes, including dysphagia and re-operation rate over medium-term follow-up. Less robust studies have also reported satisfactory clinical and radiological outcomes of CDA for hybrid procedures (ACDF combined with CDA), non-contiguous disease, and even for multilevel disease (more than 2 levels).


Based on this evidence we conclude that CDA is a safe and effective alternative to ACDF in properly selected patients for one- or two-level diseases. Defining superiority of specific implants and detailing optimal surgical indications will require further well-designed long-term studies.

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