Cervical disc replacement on the rise, ACDF leveling out: A 10-year review


Cervical disc replacement has increased significantly from 2011 and 2021 while anterior cervical discectomy and fusion plateaued, according to a study published Feb. 24 in The Spine Journal

Four things to know:

1. Researchers used the PearlDiver database to analyze patient demographics, complications and revisions for ACDF and cervical disc replacements between 2011 to 2021. More than 404,000 ACDF and more than 29,000 cervical disc replacement patients were included.

2. Cervical disc replacements rose by 654.24% between 2011 to 2019 but plateaued. ACDF saw a smaller uptick of 25.25% in the same time and also plateaued. 

3. ACDF and cervical disc replacements had overall complication rates of 12.20% and 8.77%, respectively. The most common complications were subsequent anterior revision and dysphagia. ACDFs, especially those who had multilevel procedures, tended to have more complications and higher revision rates than cervical disc replacements.

4. The study concluded, "Although a lack of radiographic data in this study limits its power to recommend either procedure for individual patients with cervical radiculopathy or myelopathy, CDA may be associated with minor improvement in the complication and revision profile."

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