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J Korean Soc Spine Surg. 2005 Mar;12(1):22-27. Korean. Original Article.
Lee JK , Ahn JS , Kim SB , Hong CH , Lee JB .
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Chungju St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Chungju, Korea.

STUDY DESIGN: This was a retrospective study to evaluate anterior cervical interbody fusion with plates. OBJECTIVE: To examine the degree of angulation and translation after an anterior interbody fusion, using anterior plate fixation, upon the fusion rate and clinical outcome. SUMMARY OF LITERATURE REVIEW: Anterior cervical interbody fusion with plate allows immediate rigid internal fixation after decompression and bone grafting. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 65 cases had an anterior interbody fusion on the cervical spine, using an anterior approach and Smith-Robinson's method, between January 1998 and August 2003. Of these, 41 cases, which could be followed up for at least one year, were selected. There were 26 and 15 males and females, respectively, with an average age of 43.5 and mean follow up period of 2.1 years. 15 cases underwent an operation due to dislocation or fracture of the cervical spine due to trauma, and 26 due to cervical diseases. The angulation and translation of the plate was measured by postoperative X-rays. The fusion rate was also determined by the follow up X-rays. The Chi-squared test was used to analyze the data. RESULTS: Bony fusion was obtained in all cases. Two patients developed hoarseness and one showed torticollis, but all had recovered by the follow up. The average angulation of the plate and translation were 6.2 degrees and 3.21mm, respectively, but there was no significant difference of the interbody fusion period due to angulation and translation of the plate or in the improvement of the clinical outcomes. CONCLUSION: In the cases of anterior interbody fusion of the cervical spine, the angulation and translation of the plate had no influence on the fusion time and clinical outcomes. Long term studies and research will be needed to bring about clinically more valuable data.

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