Local Kyphosis Reduces Surgical Outcomes of Expansive Open-Door Laminoplasty for Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy

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Study Design.

This retrospective study analyzed the effects of cervical alignment on surgical results of expansive laminoplasty (ELAP) for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM).


To determine the limitation of posterior decompression by ELAP for CSM in the presence of local kyphosis.

Summary of Background Data.

Several studies have reported that cervical malalignment affected surgical outcomes of ELAP. However, there has been no report to demonstrate crucial determinants of surgical outcomes of ELAP for CSM in relation to cervical sagittal alignment.


The study group comprised 114 patients who underwent ELAP for CSM. All were followed up for more than 2 years. The Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) scoring system for cervical myelopathy (full score, 17 points) was used to evaluate surgical outcomes for each patient 2 years after surgery. Statistical analysis with multivariate logistic regression models was used to ascertain the risk factors affecting postoperative surgical outcomes.


The average JOA scores were 9.9 points before surgery and 14 points 2 years after surgery. The recovery rate was 60.2%. Statistical analysis showed that signal intensity change on MRI and local kyphosis were the most crucial risk factors for poor surgical outcomes. Calculated with the logistic regression model, the highest risk of poor recovery was local kyphosis exceeding 13°.


The influence of cervical malalignment on neurologic recovery after ELAP for CSM was shown. When patients have local kyphosis exceeding 13°, anterior decompression or posterior correction of kyphosis as well as ELAP should be considered. Expansive laminoplasty for CSM is best indicated for patients with local kyphosis less than 13°.

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