BACKGROUND: According to published meta-analyses, cervical total disc replacement (CTDR) seems to be superior to anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF) in most clinical parameters. Despite short-term clinical success of CTDR, there are concerns regarding long-term durability of these prostheses.
METHODS: This prospective study involved 382 patients who received standalone CTDR or a hybrid procedure (ACDF/CTDR). A retrospective comparison between different CTDR devices was conducted regarding patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), failure scenarios, and revision surgeries. The M6-C™ Artificial Cervical Disc (Orthofix, Lewisville, Texas) cohort was compared to the other CTDR devices clinically. Etiological reasons for revision, and the surgical technique of the revision was investigated.
RESULTS: Fifty-three patients received M6-C CTDR. Eighteen patients (34%) were revised at an average of 67 months postoperatively for wear-induced osteolysis. There were three additional cases of pending revision. The PROMs of the two groups were similar, indicating that the failure mode (wear-induced osteolysis) is often asymptomatic. The demographics of the two groups were also similar, with more women undergoing revision surgery than men. There were three one-level CTDR, four two-level hybrids, seven three-level hybrids, and three four-level hybrids revised anteriorly. Sixteen patients underwent removal of the prosthesis and were treated according to the extent of osteolysis. There were four vertebrectomies, six revisions to ACDF, and six revisions to another CTDR. One patient underwent supplemental fixation using a posterior approach. The other CTDR cohort had an incidence of 3.3% at the equivalent time, and none of these were due to osteolysis or wear-related events.
CONCLUSIONS: There is a concerning midterm failure rate related to ultra-high-molecular-weight-polyethylene wear-induced osteolysis in the M6-C. Patients implanted with the M6-C prosthesis should be contacted, informed, and clinically and radiologically assessed.