The Effect of Plate Thickness on Fusion, Complications, and Outcomes in Anterior Cervical Spine Surgery.
Background and objective Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a common surgery involving the cervical spine. The goals of ACDF include obtaining a solid fusion and minimizing complications such as dysphagia. The effect of plate thickness on fusion, dysphagia, and patient outcomes is not well established. In light of this, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of plate thickness on fusion rates, complications, and outcomes in ACDF. Methods A case-control study involving ACDF performed by a single surgeon was conducted with the aim of comparing two commercially available plating systems: the Medtronic plate (Atlantis Vision Elite, Medtronic, Memphis, TN) and Aegis plate (CastleLoc-P, Aegis, Englewood, CO). The patients treated with the Medtronic plate served as the control group (Std) as the plate is widely utilized, while those treated with the Aegis plate, which is touted as one of the thinnest plates on the market, constituted the case low-profile group (LP). Demographic variables, fusion status, and patient-reported outcome measures (PROM) were compared between the two systems. Results Baseline demographic data were not significantly different between groups. The LP plate group had a significantly lower rate of fusion per patient as well as per level at 12 months. PROM did not significantly differ at any time point between the groups. Dysphagia scores could be correlated with radiographic measures reported in the Prevertebral Soft Tissue Swelling - Index (PVSTS-I). Conclusion Based on our findings, the plate thickness was not associated with dysphagia rates; however, the use of a thinner plate correlated with a lower rate of radiographic fusion at 12 months. The PVSTS-I may be useful for identifying patients with abnormal and severely abnormal dysphagia scores.
Park D, Arveschoug A, Wahlmeier S, Petersen-Fitts G, Zakko P. The effect of plate thickness on fusion, complications, and outcomes in anterior cervical spine surgery. Cureus. 2023 Jun 27;15(6):e41048. doi: 10.7759/cureus.41048. PMID: 37519557.