STUDY DESIGN. Prospective, randomized, controlled and double-blinded study on imaging of artificial discs. OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study is to compare postoperative imaging characteristics of the 4 currently available cervical arthroplasty devices at the level of implantation and at adjacent levels. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA. Cervical arthroplasty is being performed increasingly frequently for degenerative disc disease and, in most cases, with frank neural compression. Unlike lumbar arthroplasty, performed mainly for axial back pain, decompression of neural elements may need to be confirmed with postoperative imaging after cervical arthroplasty. METHODS. Preoperative and postoperative magnetic resonance imaging scans of 20 patients who had undergone cervical arthroplasty were assessed for imaging quality. Five cases each of the Bryan® (Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Memphis, TN), Prodisc-C® (Synthes Spine, Paoli, PA), Prestige LP® (Medtronic Sofamor Danek), and PCM® devices (Cervitech, Rockaway, NJ) were analyzed. Six blinded spinal surgeons scored twice sagittal and axial T2-weighted images using the Jarvik 4-point scale. Statistical analysis was performed comparing quality before surgery and after disc implantation at the operated and adjacent levels and between implant types. RESULTS. Moderate intraobserver and interobserver reliability was noted. Preoperative images of patients in all implant groups had high-quality images at operative and adjacent levels. The Bryan® and Prestige LP® devices allowed satisfactory visualization of the canal, exit foramina, cord, and adjacent levels after arthroplasty. Visualization was significantly impaired in all PCM® and Prodisc-C® cases at the operated level in both the spinal canal and neural foramina. At the adjacent levels, image quality was statistically poorer in the PCM® and Prodisc-C® than those of Prestige LP® or Bryan®. CONCLUSIONS. Postoperative visualization of neural structures and adjacent levels after cervical arthroplasty is variable among current available devices. Devices containing nontitanium metals (cobalt-chrome-molybdenum alloys in the PCM® and Prodisc-C®) prevent accurate postoperative assessment with magnetic resonance imaging at the surgical and adjacent levels. Titanium devices, with or without polyethylene (Bryan® disc or Prestige LP®), allow for satisfactory monitoring of the adjacent and operated levels. This information is crucial for any surgeon who wishes to assess adequacy of neural decompression and where monitoring of adjacent levels is desired.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2007|
- Artificial disc
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Postoperative imaging