A retrospective study of multiple interbody grafting and long segment strut grafting following multilevel anterior cervical decompression

A P Nirala, M Husain, D K Vatsal
British Journal of Neurosurgery 2004, 18 (3): 227-32
A retrospective study of 201 patients who underwent multilevel anterior cervical decompression and fusion by multiple interbody grafting and long segment strut grafting without plate fixation was conducted from January 1991 to December 2001. Previous studies have reported lower fusion rates for anterior cervical decompressions reconstructed with multiple interbody grafts as opposed to a single long strut graft. Our aim was a retrospective study of two fusion techniques with reference to radiological and clinical outcomes in patients operated by the senior author. Of 132 patients who underwent strut grafting, 124 achieved solid fusion (93.9%), whereas 48 of 69 patients who underwent multiple interbody grafting (69.6%) achieved solid fusion. There were five cases of graft displacement or extrusion among strut-grafted patients and one among patients with interbody grafts. More 'good' and 'excellent' clinical outcomes were found among patients who underwent strut grafting (87.1 v. 81.1%). Patients with pseudoarthrosis had significantly poorer clinical outcomes. Therefore, corpectomy or vertebrectomy and strut grafting should be considered after multilevel anterior cervical decompression to increase the likelihood of successful fusion and to improve clinical outcome.

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