Biomechanical analysis of multilevel cervical corpectomy and plate constructs
Object. The authors compared the biomechanical stability of two multilevel cervical constructs involving the placement of equal size anterior cervical plates (ACPs) after decompressive surgery: the first is placed after three-level corpectomy with strut graft and the second after two-level corpectomy and aggressive discectomy with strut graft. In addition, both constructs were evaluated with and without the application of a screw attaching the ACP to the strut graft to determine whether the additional screw enhanced stability in any mode of loading. Methods. Nondestructive repeated- measures in vitro flexibility tests were performed in human cadaveric cervical spines. Nonconstraining pure moments of up to 1.5 Nm were applied while recording three-dimensional angular motion stereophotogrammetrically at each level from C4-5 to C7-T1. Nine specimens underwent the three-level corpectomy/strut graft procedure and eight specimens the two-level corpectomy/discectomy strut graft procedure. Failures during testing eliminated two of the former specimens and three of the latter specimens from analysis. The construct applied after the two-level procedure allowed a significantly smaller normalized neutral zone during flexion-extension than the three-level construct (p = 0.04). Normalized elastic zone and range of motion were consistently smaller in the two- than in the three-level construct, but the differences were not significant. Addition of a screw to the strut graft significantly reduced motion in the three-level procedure-treated specimens during flexion and lateral bending but had no effect on two-level corpectomy-treated specimens. Conclusions. The construct associated with the two-level corpectomy/discectomy provided better immediate postoperative stability than that associated with the three-level corpectomy. The addition of a screw to the strut graft conferred stability on the three-level construct but not the two-level construct.
Journal of Neurosurgery
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Porter, Randall W.; Crawford, Neil R.; Chamberlain, Robert H.; Park, Sung Chan; Detwiler, Paul W.; Apostolides, Paul J.; and Sonntag, Volker K.H., "Biomechanical analysis of multilevel cervical corpectomy and plate constructs" (2003). Neurobiology. 843.