Patterns of Neurological Recovery After Anterior Decompression With Fusion and Posterior Decompression With Laminoplasty for the Treatment of Multilevel Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy

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Abstract

Study Design:

The pattern of neurological recovery in the overall modified Japanese Orthopedic Association scores, upper limb function score, and lower limb function score after surgical decompression for patients suffering from multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) were analyzed in this independent retrospective study.

Objective:

The primary objective of this retrospective study was to compare the upper and lower limb function changes after anterior decompression with fusion versus posterior decompression with laminoplasty for patients suffering from multilevel CSM. An additional objective was to describe the neural recovery speed.

Summary of Background Data:

Few comparative studies have been conducted to evaluate the outcome of anterior versus posterior surgery in multilevel CSM. However, these assessments tend to be of a more global perspective, looking at a composite score for upper limb, lower limb, and bladder function. No reports have separately analyzed the upper and lower limb function changes after anterior and posterior decompression for multilevel CSM.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 132 patients were classified into anterior and posterior decompression groups based on the different surgical approach they underwent. The pattern of neurological recovery in the overall modified Japanese Orthopedic Association scores, upper limb function score, and lower limb function score after surgical decompression were documented and analyzed.

Results:

There was no significant difference in the overall neurological recovery between anterior and posterior decompression groups. But in terms of the upper or lower limb function changes after operation, it appeared that the upper limbs recovered better with anterior decompression. The surgical approach did not significantly alter lower extremity recovery potential. In addition, most of the neurological recovery occurred in the first 9 months after surgical decompression.

Conclusions:

We recommend a individualized approach when it is difficult to determine an anterior or posterior surgery for multilevel CSM. Rehabilitation training should be carried out as early as possible.

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