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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2013 March;57(1):69-74


lingua: Inglese

Mechanical endurance and in vivo radiographic analysis of a flexible, mono-unit cervical disc implant in intermediate follow-up period

Wang C. J. 1, Graf H. 2, Wei H. W. 3, 4

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Wei Gong Memorial Hospial, Miaoli, Taiwan; 2 Department of Neurosurgery, Muscat Private Hospital, Muscat, Oman; 3 Department of Physical Therapy and Assistive Technology, Yang Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan; 4 Holistic Medical Device Development Center, Chung Yuan Christian University, Chungli, Taiwan


Aim: The flexible artificial disc may create a system with a biomimetic structure that has the potential to tolerate dynamic motion in a way similar to a normal intervertebral disc over a long period. The objective was to evaluate the mechanical feasibility and clinical and radiological findings with a mono-unit and flexible artificial disc at intermediate-term follow-up.
Methods: Fifty-six patients with degenerative disc disease were selected to participate in the study. They underwent discectomy with a flexible artificial disc with a mean follow-up period of 24.8 months. Outcomes were evaluated with the visual analogue scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Mechanical endurance was evaluated by a dynamic testing.
Results: Fifty one-levels and six bi-levels were included in the study (average age 41.8 years). VAS improved from 6.8±2.2 to 1.5±1.7 (P<0.05) and ODI improved from 43.1±10.4 to 18.2±10.2 (P<0.05). Disc height before mechanical testing was 8.9 mm, and decreased to 8.4 mm after six million cycles with no mechanical failure.
Conclusion: Our results indicate that flexible and mono-unit cervical disc provides favorable mechanical performance and clinical outcomes for at least a relatively intermediate-term follow up period. It is indicated that the flexible cervical disc maintains mobility at the level of the prosthesis that is comparable with preoperative ranges of motion. Further evaluation will be completed once long-term results have been obtained.

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