The Use of Expandable Cages in Patients Undergoing Multilevel Corpectomies for Metastatic Tumors in the Cervical Spine
Expandable cages have been used successfully to reconstruct the anterior spinal column in the treatment of traumatic, neoplastic, infectious, and degenerative spine disease. To the best of our knowledge, no studies report the results of the use of expandable cages in patients undergoing multilevel corpectomies for cervical spine metastatic disease. We report our experience with the use of expandable cages in this subgroup of patients.From August 2006 to May 2008, 5 patients presenting with myelopathy, pain, and/or radiculopathy secondary to metastatic disease of the cervical spine underwent multilevel cervical corpectomies and placement of expandable cages in our institution. All procedures were supplemented with an anterior cervical plate and with posterior instrumentation to achieve a 360 degrees fusion. A visual analog scale (VAS), Nurick grade, Frankel grade, American Spinal Injuries Association (ASIA) grade, and Ranawat grade were used to evaluate patients pre- and postoperatively. The mean follow-up period was 13.2 months. Three patients underwent a 2-level corpectomy, 1 a 3-level corpectomy, and 1 a 4-level corpectomy. Postoperative imaging studies showed that all patients had correction of preoperative kyphosis. The mean VAS score was reduced from 6.4 to 1. All other indices of spinal cord injury measured improved postoperatively or were stabilized. Postoperative imaging studies showed stable constructs in 4 patients.The use of expandable cages in multilevel corpectomies for the treatment of metastatic cervical spine disease appears to be a safe and effective way to reconstruct the anterior column of the cervical spine, preventing further neurologic deterioration.
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