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Long Term Societal Costs of Anterior Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) versus Cervical Disc Arthroplasty (CDA) for Treatment of Cervical Radiculopathy

Ahmer Ghori, MD,1 Joseph F. Konopka, MD, MSc,1 Heeren Makanji, MD,1 Thomas D. Cha, MD, MBA,2 Christopher M. Bono, MD3

1Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program, Boston, MA, 2Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, 3Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA



Current literature suggests that anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) and cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) have comparable clinical outcomes for the treatment of cervical radiculopathy. Given similar outcomes, an understanding of differences in long-term societal costs can help guide resource utilization. The purpose of this study was to compare the relative long-term societal costs of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) to cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) for the treatment of single level cervical disc disease by considering upfront surgical costs, lost productivity, and risk of subsequent revision surgery.


We completed an economic and decision analysis using a Markov model to evaluate the long-term societal costs of ACDF and CDA in a theoretical cohort of 45-65 year old patients with single level cervical disc disease who have failed nonoperative treatment.


The long-term societal costs for a 45-year old patient undergoing ACDF are $31,178 while long-term costs for CDA are $24,119. Long-term costs for CDA remain less expensive throughout the modeled age range of 45 to 65 years old. Sensitivity analysis demonstrated that CDA remains less expensive than ACDF as long as annual reoperation rate remains below 10.5% annually.


Based on current data, CDA has lower long-term societal costs than ACDF for patients 45-65 years old by a substantial margin. Given reported reoperation rates of 2.5% for CDA, it is the preferred treatment for cervical radiculopathy from an economic perspective.

Cervical radiculopathy, cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA), anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)
Volume 10 Article 1