A prospective clinical comparison of rectangular titanium cages and iliac crest autografts in anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
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- Thomé, C., Krauss, J.K. & Zevgaridis, D. Neurosurg Rev (2004) 27: 34. doi:10.1007/s10143-003-0297-2
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The complications of autogenous bone grafting cause spinal surgeons to seek alternative methods for cervical spinal fusion. This prospective study was conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of rectangular titanium cages as compared to the widely performed iliac crest autograft fusion. Thirty-six patients with cervical disc disease in whom an anterior cervical approach was indicated for discectomy were included in a prospective controlled study protocol with 1-year follow-up. The first 18 consecutive patients received iliac crest autograft, while the next 18 received rectangular titanium cages. According to Odom's criteria, 15 of 18 (83%) patients in both groups experienced good to excellent functional recovery. According to the patient satisfaction index, 17 of 18 (94%) in both groups were satisfied. There were no significant differences in neck or arm pain. Fusion was present after 1 year in 16 of 18 (89%) patients in the iliac crest autograft group and 15 of 18 (83%) in the rectangular titanium cage group. In the autograft group, one case of pseudarthrosis was present, and marked hip pain was observed in four patients. There were no implant-related complications in the cage group. The authors conclude that titanium cages in anterior cervical discectomy constitute a safe and efficient alternative to iliac crest bone autograft.