Research & Publications

Nov 6, 2018

Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Instrumented Allograft Fusion: Lordosis Restoration and Comparison of Functional Outcomes among Patients of Different Age Groups


- OBJECTIVE: To investigate clinical parameters of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) treatment and outcomes using osseous allografts in different age groups, study the postoperative results of restoration of lordosis, and evaluate the utility of bone allografts for ACDF, including graft subsidence.

- METHODS: We reviewed data from 154 patients with clinical symptoms and radiologic signs of disc herniation and/or cervical spondylosis. Decompression was achieved through discectomy, osteophyte ablation, endplate drilling, and foraminotomy. Fusion was achieved with allografts, demineralized bone matrix, and cervical plates/screws. The relationships between preoperative and postoperative cervical spine configuration (ie, Benzel’s criteria), pain intensity, and neurologic status were analyzed.

- RESULTS: The mean patient age was 51 years, and the median duration of symptoms was 6 months. The mean age differed significantly between the patients with diabetes and those without diabetes. The mean body mass index (BMI) was 30.36. Fifty-two patients had disc herniation, and 102 had spondylosis. Surgery was performed on a total of 313 levels. The median duration of follow-up was 24 months. Marked improvements in postoperative spine configuration or preservation of lordosis were recorded. Overall, 122 patients were neurologically intact, and 32 patients experienced residual postsurgery neurologic deficits (minor, n [ 22; moderate, n [ 9; severe, n [ 1). Postoperative pain intensity and neurologic status were significantly improved. Outcomes were excellent in 66 patients, good in 61, fair in 24, and poor in 3 (no mortality). No significant differences in patient age, smoking habits, diabetes, or BMI were seen among outcomes, or between patients with soft disc herniation or spondylosis.

- CONCLUSIONS: Osseous allografting can excellently restore cervical lordosis regardless of age and is an excellent graft choice for ACDF. Patients of advanced age with comorbidities should not be denied surgery.