This is a study of 66 consecutive adult patients (ages 20–81 years) with sagittal deformities who underwent surgery in which structural titanium mesh cages were implanted into the anterior column during posterior instrumentation and fusion. Follow-up ranged from 24 to 62 months (mean, 33 months).
To assess the complications and outcomes of patients with structural cages implanted into the anterior column.
Summary of Background Data.
Structural cages for the anterior column are popular in the treatment of adult spinal disorders. Few studies to determine their efficacy have a minimum 2-year follow-up.
Sixty-six patients with minimum 2-year follow-up were analyzed for cage, spinal fusion, and instrumentation status. Outcomes were assessed by analysis of responses to questionnaires administered to the patients at latest follow-up.
No cage failure or extrusion was observed. The average segmental improvement in lordosis with cage implantation was 11° with a loss of correction of less than 1° at latest follow-up. The readability of plain radiographs for assessment of anterior fusions was better than for posterior fusions. The agreement level for judging spines to be fused was two of three for 78% of the anterior levels and 47% of the posterior levels. The remaining posterior fusion levels were unassessable. No statistical difference was found in outcome between the group of patients with suspected nonfused anterior levels and the group with all levels fused.
Structural titanium mesh cages implanted into the anterior column function appropriately to maintain sagittal correction, with rare radiographic complications. Seventy-eight percent of the anterior levels were judged to be fused by observers examining plain radiographs. The outcome at latest follow-up for patients with suspected nonfused anterior levels was similar to that in the group of patients with fusions rated solid at every level.