Outcomes of single-level cervical disc arthroplasty versus anterior cervical discectomy and fusion

Robert W. Tracey, Daniel G. Kang, John P. Cody, Scott C. Wagner*, Michael K. Rosner, Ronald A. Lehman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Several studies have established the short-term safety and efficacy of cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) as compared to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). However, few single-center comparative trials have been performed, and current studies do not contain large numbers of patients. We retrospectively reviewed all patients from a single military tertiary medical center between August 2008 to August 2012 who underwent single-level CDA or single-level ACDF and compared their clinical outcomes and complications. A total of 259 consecutive patients were included in the study, 171 patients in the CDA group with an average follow-up of 9.8 (±9.9) months and 88 patients in the ACDF group with an average follow-up of 11.8 (±9.6) months. Relief of pre-operative symptoms was 90.1% in the CDA group and 86.4% in the ACDF group with rates of return to full pre-operative activity of 93.0% and 88.6%, respectively. Patients who underwent CDA had a higher rate of persistent posterior neck pain (15.8% versus 12.5%), and patients who underwent ACDF were at risk for symptomatic pseudarthrosis at a rate of 3.4%. Reoperation rates were higher in the ACDF group (5.7% versus 3.5%). To our knowledge, this review is the largest, non-funded, comparison study between single-level CDA and single-level ACDF. This study demonstrates that CDA is a safe and reliable alternative to ACDF in the treatment of cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy resulting from spondylosis and acute disc herniation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1905-1908
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical disc arthroplasty
  • Cervical disc replacement
  • Cervical fusion
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Radiculopathy


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