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Does Dynamic Anterior Plate Fixation Provide Adequate Stability for Traumatic Subaxial Cervical Spine Fractures at Mid-Term Follow-Up?

BACKGROUND: It remains questionable if the treatment of cervical fractures with dynamic plates in trauma surgery provides adequate stability for unstable fractures with disco-ligamentous injuries. The primary goal of this study was to assess the radiological and mid-term patient-reported outcome of traumatic subaxial cervical fractures treated with different plate systems.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients, treated with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) between 2001 and 2015, using either a dynamic plate (DP: Mambo™, Ulrich, Germany) or a rigid locking plate (RP: CSLP™, Depuy Synthes, USA), were identified. For radiological evaluation, the sagittal alignment, the sagittal anterior translation and the bony consolidation were evaluated. After at least two years, the patient-reported outcome measures (PROM) were evaluated using the German Short-Form 36 (SF-36), Neck Disability Index (NDI) and the EuroQol in 5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) scores.

RESULTS: 33 patients met the inclusion criteria (DP: 13; RP:20). Twenty-six patients suffered from AO Type B or C fractures. Both the sagittal alignment and the sagittal translation could be sufficiently improved in both groups ( p ≥ 0.05). No significant loss of reduction could be observed at the follow-up in both groups ( p ≥ 0.05). Bony consolidation could be observed in 30 patients (DP: 12/13 (92%); RP: 18/20 (90%); ( p ≥ 0.05)). In 20 patients, PROMs could be evaluated (follow-up: 71.2 ± 25.5 months). The whole cohort showed satisfactory PROM results (EQ-5D: 72.0 ± 4.9; SF-36 PCS: 41.9 ± 16.2, MCS: 45.4 ± 14.9; NDI: 11.0 ± 9.1). without significant differences between the DP and RP group ( p ≥ 0.05) Conclusion: The dynamic plate concept provides enough stability without a difference in fusion rates in comparison to rigid locking plates in a population that mostly suffered fragile fractures.

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