|Abstract|| BACKGROUND: Cervical disc arthroplasty has emerged as a promising potential alternative to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in appropriately selected patients. Despite a history of excellent outcomes after ACDF, the question as to whether a fusion leads to adjacent segment degeneration remains unanswered. Numerous US investigational device exemption trials comparing cervical arthroplasty to fusion have been conducted to answer this question.
METHODS: This study reviews the current research regarding cervical athroplasty, and emphasizes both the pros and cons of arthroplasty as compared with ACDF.
RESULTS: Early clinical outcomes show that cervical arthroplasty is as effective as the standard ACDF. However, this new technology is also associated with an expanding list of novel complications.
CONCLUSION: Although there is no definitive evidence that cervical disc replacement reduces the incidence of adjacent segment degeneration, it does show other advantages; for example, faster return to work, and reduced need for postoperative bracing.|