Revision Surgery Following Cervical Laminoplasty: Etiology and Treatment Strategies

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Study Design.

Retrospective review of prospectively collected data.


To identify the cause of failed open-door laminoplasty and to describe the surgical strategies for revision surgery.

Summary of Background Data.

Although laminoplasty has become popular, few articles have addressed the cause of failed cervical laminoplasty requiring revision surgery.


All patients who required revision surgery following open-door cervical laminoplasty were identified. Clinical data, method of surgical revision, time between surgeries, Nurick grade, radiologic parameters, and complications were analyzed. Laminoplasty failures were classified into 3 categories: “technique related,” “inadequate symptomatic relief after treatment,” or “recurrence of symptoms due to disease progression.”


A total of 130 patients underwent cervical laminoplasty over a 10-year period (1996–2006), and 12 patients (9.2%) required revision surgery. The mean age was 50.7 years at the time of the index laminoplasty (range, 34–67 years) and 51.8 years (range, 35–70 years) at the time of the revision surgery. Mean duration of symptoms was 7.3 months before the index procedure (range, 2–17 months) and 5.6 months (range, 1–14 months) before revision surgery. The mean time interval between the index procedure and revision surgery was 16.6 months (range, 4–43 months). Of the 12 patients who required revision surgery, 5 had global lordosis of <10°, 4 developed local kyphosis >13°, and 5 had increased degenerative spondylolisthesis. Nonmyelopathic causes resulted in 50% of the revision surgery. Of 12 patients, 3 (25%) required revision surgery due to technique-related factors; 1 (8%) required surgery due to inadequate symptomatic relief after treatment; and 8 (67%) required revision surgery due to disease progression.


Of the 130 patients who underwent cervical laminoplasty over a 10-year period, 12 patients (9.2%) required revision surgery. Although laminoplasty is generally successful, failures due to disease progression, technique-related factors, and inadequate symptomatic relief after treatment can occur. Patients should, therefore, be counseled regarding the potential need for revision surgery when undergoing open-door laminoplasty.

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