Perioperative Outcomes After Cervical Laminoplasty Versus Posterior Decompression and Fusion: Analysis of 779 Patients in the ACS-NSQIP Database

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Study Design:

Retrospective cohort study.


To compare the short-term outcomes for patients undergoing cervical laminoplasty versus posterior decompression and fusion for multilevel cervical pathology.

Summary of Background Data:

There are conflicting data regarding the merits of cervical laminoplasty and posterior decompression and fusion for the treatment of multilevel cervical pathology.


Patients who underwent cervical laminoplasty or posterior decompression and fusion were identified in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) database from 2010 to 2012. Baseline patient characteristics were compared using bivariate logistic regression. Propensity-adjusted multivariate regressions were performed to assess differences in postoperative length of stay, adverse events, and 30-day readmission.


A total of 779 patients were included in this study: 437 (56.1%) underwent cervical decompression and fusion and 342 (43.9%) underwent cervical laminoplasty. Decompression and fusion patients were found to be more comorbid at baseline than laminoplasty patients based on increased American Society of Anesthesiologists scores and Charlson Comorbidity Index.


Propensity-adjusted multivariate analysis was used to control for differences in baseline patient characteristics, and found that compared with laminoplasty patients, decompression and fusion patients had increased length of stay (+1.2 d, P<0.001), greater rates of any adverse event (OR=1.7, P=0.018), and were more likely to be readmitted (OR=2.3, P=0.028).


Posterior cervical decompression and fusion patients were found to have moderately worse short-term outcomes than laminoplasty patients. The information provided here can be used to inform patients and surgeons about the likely perioperative experience after they have made the decision to pursue 1 of these 2 procedures.

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