By Dr. Kingsley Chin
Interested medical professionals can read through the full paper, published in the Journal of the AAOS, here.
In anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion (ACDF), misaligned plates are concerning because of the risk of screw-and-plate failure; however, these plates also hypothetically have the potential for asymmetric micromotion on the facet and uncovertebral joint. The aim of this study was to determine whether misaligned plate placement during ACDF had clinical benefits compared with straight plate placement.
Postoperative AP radiographs of 128 consecutive patients who underwent ACDF with anterior cervical plate (ACP) fixation were reviewed, and plate alignment was assessed. Patients were separated into control group 1 (straight plates) or group 2 (misaligned plates).
The mean age of patients was 51.5 ± 0.9 years, and women represented 51% of the total population. There was no significant difference between groups with regard to the preoperative visual analog scale (VAS) and Neck Disability Index (NDI) scores (P = 0.744 and P = 0.943, respectively). At 6 weeks postoperatively, the VAS scores for group 1 decreased from 7.6 ± 0.2 to 4.0 ± 0.2 compared with the scores in group 2, which decreased from 7.7 ± 0.2 to 2.1 ± 0.1, which demonstrated statistical significance (P = 0.019). At 2-year follow-up, no significant difference was demonstrated between the groups’ VAS and NDI scores (P = 0.670 and P = 0.266).
Misaligned plates have increased torsional strength and are associated with better clinical outcomes compared with those of straight plates in the early postoperative period. After fusion, no significant difference in clinical outcomes between the groups was noted, which may reduce the concerns regarding misaligned plates.
Level of Evidence
Retrospective comparative study.
About Author Dr. Kingsley R. Chin
Dr. Kingsley R. Chin is a board-certified Harvard-trained Orthopedic Spine Surgeon and Professor with copious business and information technology exposure. He sees a niche opportunity where medicine, business and info. tech meet – and is uniquely educated at the intersection of these three professions. He has experience as Professor of Clinical Biomedical Sciences & Admissions Committee Member at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, Professor of Clinical Orthopedic Surgery at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Visiting Spine Surgeon & Professor at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and Adjunct Professor of Clinical Biomedical Sciences at the University of Technology, Jamaica.
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Scientific Paper Author & Citation Details
From the Department of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, the Department of Orthopedics, Florida International University, Miami, FL (Dr. Chin), and the LESS Institute, Miami (Dr. Chin, Dr. Pencle, Ms. S. Francis, Ms. C. Francis, Dr. Seale, and Dr. Hothem).