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Biomechanics following skip-level cervical disc arthroplasty versus skip-level cervical discectomy and fusion: a finite element-based study



Biomechanics following skip-level cervical disc arthroplasty versus skip-level cervical discectomy and fusion: a finite element-based study



Bmc Musculoskeletal Disorders 20(1): 49



Moderately increased motion at the intermediate segment (IS) after skip-level fusion may accelerate disc degeneration. However, limited biomechanical data are available that examine the effects on the IS following cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA). The purpose of this study is to investigate the biomechanical changes in the IS of the cervical spine after skip-level fusion or skip-level arthroplasty. A finite element model of a healthy cervical spine (C2-C7) was constructed. Two surgical models were developed: (1) skip-level fusion at C3/4 and C5/6 and (2) skip-level arthroplasty at C3/4 and C5/6. A 75-N follower load and 1.0-N·m moments were applied to the top of the C2 vertebra to produce flexion, extension, lateral bending and axial rotation in the intact model. The end-points in each direction corresponding to the intact model were applied to the surgical models under displacement-control protocols. The ranges of motion (ROMs) of the fusion model were markedly decreased at the operated levels, while the corresponding ROMs of the arthroplasty model were similar to those of the intact spine in all directions. In the fusion model, the ROMs of the IS (C4/5) were markedly increased in all directions. The ROMs in the arthroplasty model were similar to those in the intact spine, and the ROMs of untreated segments were evenly increased. In the fusion model, the intradiscal pressure and facet contact force at were C4/5 remarkably increased and unevenly distributed among the unfused segments. In the arthroplasty model, the IS did not experience additive stress. The IS does not experience additive ROM or stress in the intervertebral disc or facet joints after skip-level arthroplasty, which has fewer biomechanical effects on the IS than does skip-level fusion. This study provides a biomechanical rationale for arthroplasty in treating patients with skip-level cervical degenerative disc disease.

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Accession: 066446545

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 30704444

DOI: 10.1186/s12891-019-2425-3


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