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Spine Fusion Rate Highest With Anterior Cervical Plate

Corpectomy with plate placement has higher fusion rate in three-disc-level disease than other procedures

MONDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- An anterior cervical plate system results in high fusion rates in patients with degenerative disc disease, regardless of whether they have one-level, two-level or three-level disease, according to a meta-analysis published in the April issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

Justin F. Fraser, M.D., and Roger Härtl. M.D., of Weill Medical College of Cornell University, in New York City, conducted a meta-analysis of 21 studies including data on at least 25 patients who were followed up for an average of 12 months. The papers yielded data on fusion rates for anterior cervical discectomy, the same procedure with interbody fusion (ACDF) and ACDF with placement of an anterior plate system, as well as corpectomy, and corpectomy with plate placement.

Among the 2,682 patients covered by the studies, there was an 89.5 percent fusion rate. The difference in fusion rates between the different procedures became more extreme as more disc levels were affected. For three-disc-level disease, the fusion rates were 65.0 percent for ACDF, 82.5 percent for ACDF with placement of an anterior plate system, 89.8 percent for corpectomy and 96.2 percent for corpectomy with plate placement.

"Regardless of the number of levels fused, the use of an anterior cervical plate system significantly increases the fusion rate. A meta-analysis of the literature provides some fusion rate benchmarks for practitioners," the authors concluded.

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