The Effect of T1-Slope in Spinal Parameters After Cervical Disc Arthroplasty

Neurosurgery 2020 DOI:10.1093/neuros/nyaa271

Although patients with cervical kyphosis are not ideal candidates for cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA), there is a paucity of data on patients with a straight or slightly lordotic neck.

OBJECTIVE: To correlate cervical lordosis, T1-slope, and clinical outcomes of CDA.

METHODS: The study retrospectively analyzed 95 patients who underwent 1-level CDA and had 2-yr follow-up. They were divided into a high T1-slope (≥28◦) group (HTSG,n=45) and a low T1-slope (<28◦) group (LTSG, n = 50). Cervical spinal alignment parameters, including T1-slope, cervical lordosis (C2-7 Cobb angle), and segmental mobility (range of motion [ROM]) at the indexed level, were compared. The clinical outcomes were also assessed.

RESULTS: The mean T1-slope was 28.1 ± 7.0◦. After CDA, the pre- and postoperative segmental motility remained similar and cervical lordosis was preserved. All the clinical outcomes improved after CDA. The HTSG were similar to the LTSG in age, sex, segmental mobility, and clinical outcomes. However, the HTSG had higher cervical lordosis than the LTSG. Furthermore, the LTSG had increased cervical lordosis (C2-7 Cobb angle), whereas the HTSG had decreased lordosis after CDA. Patients of the LTSG, who had more improvement in cervical lordosis, had a trend toward increasing segmental mobility at the index level (ROM) than the HTSG.

CONCLUSION: In this series, T1-slope correlated well with global cervical lordosis but did not affect the segmental mobility. After CDA, the changes in cervical lordosis correlated with changes in segmental mobility. Therefore, segmental lordosis should be cautiously preserved during CDA as it could determine the mobility of the disc.