Degeneration less likely with disc replacement than spinal fusion, study says


Cervical artificial disc replacements were less likely to result in degenerative complications compared to spinal fusions, according to a study published in the February 2022 edition of the International Journal of Spine Surgery.

Four things to know:

1. Researchers analyzed patients who had an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion with patients who had a cervical disc replacement with follow-up data after at least two and up to seven years in the wake of the procedures.

2. A total of 228 patients were examined; 111 had cervical disc replacement and 117 had spinal fusion.

3. The results found the rate of radiographic adjacent-level disease was higher in spinal fusion patients. Rates were lower in artificial disc patients in the superior and inferior adjacent levels.

4. The study concluded: "The difference in radiographic adjacent-level disease is related to the preservation of motion at the index level and resultant preservation of kinematics and forces across the adjacent disc space." 

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