Use of Small Suture Anchors in Cervical Laminoplasty to Maintain Canal Expansion: A Technical Note

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Open door laminoplasty is a commonly performed procedure for the treatment of cervical spine pathology. One complication of this procedure is closure of the hinge and subsequent restenosis. A simple and effective method of using suture anchors to stabilize posterior elements has been previously described. The aim of this paper is to describe our experience using 2.0-mm suture anchors to maintain canal expansion.


Results of 42-consecutive patients who were treated with a modified cervical open-door laminoplasty were reviewed. The modification involves the use of original Hirabayashi technique, but augmenting the canal expansion with 2.0-mm suture anchors at C3, C5, and C7 levels. Additionally, nonabsorbable sutures are placed at C4 and C6 levels as described by Hirabayashi. The technical issues and short-term radiographic outcomes were evaluated.


None of the 42 patients who had the door secured with 2.0-mm suture anchors had closure of the hinge. Additionally, the suture anchors maintained their position without loosening or “pull-outs” on postoperative follow-up radiographs. There were 3 short-term complications: 1 was a small dural-tear which was repaired intraoperatively without further sequelae, and the other 2 were both epidural hematomas that required emergent return to the operating room for evacuation. All 3 patients had an uneventful recovery without a new neurologic deficit.


This paper reviews a simple and effective method for maintaining canal expansion in open-door laminoplasty. Because of its technical simplicity, 2.0-mm suture anchors may be a safer alternative than other devices currently popular for this purpose.

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