Biomechanics of Artificial Disc Replacements Adjacent to a 2-Level Fusion in 4-Level Hybrid Constructs: An In Vitro Investigation
Zhenhua Liao, Guy R. Fogel, Na Wei, Hongsheng Gu, Weiqiang Liu
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China (mainland)
Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:4006-4014
The ideal procedure for multilevel cervical degenerative disc diseases remains controversial. Recent studies on hybrid surgery combining anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) and artificial cervical disc replacement (ACDR) for 2-level and 3-level constructs have been reported in the literature. The purpose of this study was to estimate the biomechanics of 3 kinds of 4-level hybrid constructs, which are more likely to be used clinically compared to 4-level arthrodesis.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Eighteen human cadaveric spines (C2–T1) were evaluated in different testing conditions: intact, with 3 kinds of 4-level hybrid constructs (hybrid C3–4 ACDR+C4–6 ACDF+C6–7ACDR; hybrid C3–5ACDF+C5–6ACDR+C6–7ACDR; hybrid C3–4ACDR+C4–5ACDR+C5–7ACDF); and 4-level fusion.
RESULTS: Four-level fusion resulted in significant decrease in the C3–C7 ROM compared with the intact spine. The 3 different 4-level hybrid treatment groups caused only slight change at the instrumented levels compared to intact except for flexion. At the adjacent levels, 4-level fusion resulted in significant increase of contribution of both upper and lower adjacent levels. However, for the 3 hybrid constructs, significant changes of motion increase far lower than 4P at adjacent levels were only noted in partial loading conditions. No destabilizing effect or hypermobility were observed in any 4-level hybrid construct.
CONCLUSIONS: Four-level fusion significantly eliminated motion within the construct and increased motion at the adjacent segments. For all 3 different 4-level hybrid constructs, ACDR normalized motion of the index segment and adjacent segments with no significant hypermobility. Compared with the 4-level ACDF condition, the artificial discs in 4-level hybrid constructs had biomechanical advantages compared to fusion in normalizing adjacent level motion.
Keywords: Biomechanical Phenomena, Adult, Adolescent, Cervical Vertebrae, In Vitro Techniques, Range of Motion, Articular