Surgical Experiences of Anterior Discectomy without Fusion for Cervical Disc Disease
The authors report experiences of anterior cervical discectomy without fusion for cervical disc disease. A series of 17 patients were operated on using a modified Smith-Robinson technique. Radical discectomy and extensive removal of posterior osteophytes were performed without bone graft. Fifteen out of the 17 cases were operated on at a single level. Three discectomies were perform ed at C4/5, eight at C5/6, and four at C6/7. Two patients had discectomies at two levels (C4/5 and C5/6) during a
... and C5/6) during a single surgical procedure. The results were postoperatively evaluated both clinically and radiologically. Immediately following operation, decrease in the height of the operated disc space was recognized in all patients. The collapse of the anterior part of the interspace was promi nent at the C4/5 and C5/6 levels. Three of the 17 cases (18%) showed the upper vertebrae slipping backward against the lower vertebrae. However, further progress was not observed. The patients were followed-up for from 6 months to 6 years after surgery. All patients improved postoperatively. Of the 13 patients with radiculomyelopathy, all were considered to have excellent surgical out comes. No patients had significant postoperative complications. Because discectomy without fusion can simplify the operation and avoid the complications associated with bone grafts, it is considered to be an excellent surgical technique. The authors recommend anterior discectomy without fusion for cervical disc disease at one or two levels, except in cases with spondylosis and unstable spine.