Background and objectives
: Expandable cages are frequently used to reconstruct the anterior spinal column after a corpectomy. In this retrospective study, we evaluated the perioperative advantages and disadvantages of corpectomy reconstruction with an expandable cage. Materials and Methods:
Eighty-six patients (45 male and 41 female patients, medium age of 61.3 years) were treated with an expandable titanium cage for a variety of indications from January 2012 to December 2019 and analyzed retrospectively. The mean follow-up was 30.7 months. Outcome was measured by clinical examination and visual analogue scale (VAS); myelopathy was classified according to the EMS (European Myelopathy Scale) and gait disturbances with the Nurick score. Radiographic analysis comprised measurement of fusion, subsidence and the C2–C7 angle. Results
: Indications included spinal canal stenosis with myelopathy (46 or 53.5%), metastasis (24 or 27.9%), spondylodiscitis (12 or 14%), and fracture (4 or 4.6%). In 39 patients (45.3%), additional dorsal stabilization (360° fusion) was performed. In 13 patients, hardware failure occurred, and in 8 patients, adjacent segment disease occurred. Improvement of pain symptoms, myelopathy, and gait following surgery were statistically significant (p
< 0.05), with a medium preoperative VAS of 8, a postoperative score of 3.2, and medium EMS scores of 11.3 preoperatively vs. 14.3 postoperatively. Radiographic analysis showed successful fusion in 74 patients (86%). As shown in previous studies, correction of the C2–C7 angle did not correlate with improvement of neurological symptoms. Conclusion
: Our results show that expandable titanium cages are a safe and useful tool in anterior cervical corpectomies for providing adequate anterior column support and stability.
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