Various designs of total disc replacement (TDR) devices have been compared to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) with favorable outcomes in FDA-approved investigational device exemption trials. The design of M6-C with a compressible viscoelastic nuclear core and an annular structure is substantially different than prior designs and has previously demonstrated favorable kinematics and clinical outcomes in small case series.


To evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the novel M6-C compressible artificial cervical disc compared with ACDF for subjects with single-level degenerative cervical radiculopathy.


Prospective, multicenter, concurrently and historically controlled, FDA-approved investigational device exemption clinical trial.


Subjects with one-level symptomatic degenerative cervical radiculopathy were enrolled and assigned to receive M6-C or ACDF.


Pain and function (Neck Disability Index, VAS), quality of life (SF-36), safety, neurologic, and radiographic assessments of motion (both flexion extension and lateral bending) were performed. The primary clinical endpoint was composite clinical success (CCS) at 24 months.


Using propensity score subclassification to control for selection bias, 160 M6-C subjects were compared to a matched subset of 189 ACDF controls (46 concurrent and 143 historical controls).


Both ACDF and M6-C subjects reported significant improvements in patient-reported outcomes at all time points over baseline. Overall SF-36 Physical Component Score and neck and arm pain scores were significantly improved for M6-C as compared to ACDF treatment. CCS and mean Neck Disability Index improvements were similar between M6-C and ACDF. Correspondingly, there were significantly fewer subjects that utilized pain medication or opioids following M6-C treatment at 24 months relative to baseline. Range of motion was maintained in subjects treated with M6-C. Subsequent surgical interventions, dysphagia rates, and serious adverse events were comparable between groups.


M6-C treatment demonstrated both safety and effectiveness for the treatment of degenerative cervical radiculopathy. Treatment with M6-C demonstrated noninferiority for the primary endpoint, indicating a similar ability to achieve CCS at 24 months. However, for the secondary endpoints, M6-C subjects demonstrated significantly improved pain and function compared to ACDF subjects, while maintaining range of motion, improving quality of life, and decreasing analgesic and opioid usage at 2 years postoperatively relative to baseline.


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