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Haku Iizuka, Takashi Nakajima, Yoichi Iizuka, Yasunori Sorimachi, Tsuyoshi Ara, Masahiro Nishinome, and Kenji Takagishi

Object

The goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between preservation of the insertion of the deep extensor musculature of the cervical spine at C-2 and postoperative cervical alignment, especially differences between cases involving male and female patients, as well as the relationship between the loss of cervical lordosis and neurological outcome after laminoplasty.

Methods

The authors reviewed the records of 50 patients who underwent laminoplasty to elevate the C-3 lamina with repair of the deep extensor musculature (Group A) and 31 patients who underwent laminoplasty by C-3 dome laminotomy or laminectomy (Group B). They compared the degree of cervical lordosis after laminoplasty with preoperative measurements. Neurological function at last follow-up was also compared with preoperative assessments.

Results

In Group A, the mean values for pre- and postoperative cervical lordosis were 14.5 and 10.9°, respectively (p > 0.18). In female patients, however, the pre- and postoperative means were 14.4 and 3.7°, respectively (p < 0.004). In Group B, the overall means for pre- and postoperative cervical lordosis were 17.3 and 19.1°, respectively (p > 0.48); the corresponding means for female patients were 15.0 and 14.1° (p > 0.83). The mean percentages of neurological recovery were 54.1% in Group A and 54.8% in Group B.

Conclusions

Preservation of the insertion of the deep extensor musculature to the C-2 spinous process prevented significant changes in cervical alignment after laminoplasty, even among female patients. Neurological recovery was not affected by the loss of cervical lordosis.

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Tsuyoshi Ara, Haku Iizuka, Yasunori Sorimachi, Yoichi Iizuka, Takashi Nakajima, Masahiro Nishinome, Satoshi Tsutsumi, and Kenji Takagishi

Object

In this study the authors investigated the neck pain of patients with cervical myelopathy by using a visual analog scale (VAS) before and after laminoplasty, and they analyzed the association of amount of neck pain with the clinical results.

Methods

A retrospective review was conducted in 41 patients with cervical myelopathy who underwent cervical laminoplasty. The patients were assessed using questionnaires to evaluate the neck pain intensity before surgery, and 2 years after surgery, the outcome was assessed using a VAS. The degree of cervical lordosis and range of motion (ROM) of the cervical spine were evaluated before and after laminoplasty. The neurological status was also evaluated before and after surgery.

Results

The patients were classified into 2 groups according to their preoperative neck pain: 1) the pain (PA) group, which included patients whose preoperative VAS score was more than 1 mm; and 2) the no pain (NP) group, which included patients whose preoperative VAS score was 0 mm. Inclusion in the PA group indicated a restriction of the cervical ROM before laminoplasty; however, the improvement of neck pain in this group and the deterioration of pain status in the NP group eliminated this difference after laminoplasty. Thereafter, the PA group was classified into 2 subgroups according to the improvement of the preoperative neck pain: 1) the improved group, which included patients whose postoperative VAS score decreased; and 2) the no improvement group, which included patients who were not in the improved group. No significant differences were observed in the average recovery and radiographic results between these 2 subgroups.

Conclusions

Neck pain before surgery in the PA group indicated a restriction of the cervical ROM; however, the improvement of neck pain in this group and the deterioration of pain status in the NP group indicated the disappearance of this difference postoperatively. Moreover, improvement of preoperative neck pain was not associated with the radiographic results and the neurological recovery rate.

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Yoichi Iizuka, Haku Iizuka, Satoshi Tsutsumi, Yumi Nakagawa, Takashi Nakajima, Yasunori Sorimachi, Tsuyoshi Ara, Masahiro Nishinome, Takayuki Seki, Kosuke Shida, and Kenji Takagishi

Object

The aim of this study was to analyze the mechanism and prognostic factors of foot drop caused by lumbar degenerative conditions.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the charts of 28 patients with foot drop due to a herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP) or lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), scoring between 0 and 3 on manual muscle testing for the tibialis anterior muscles. They analyzed the mechanism of foot drop and whether the duration before the operation, preoperative tibialis anterior and extensor hallucis longus strength, age, gender, and diabetes mellitus were all found to be prognostic factors for postoperative tibialis anterior recovery. They also investigated whether the diagnosis had any influence on the prognosis.

Results

The compression of double roots and a sequestrated fragment were observed, respectively, in 9 and 13 of 16 patients with HNP. Multiple levels including the L4–5 segment were decompressed in 8 of 12 patients with LSS. Analysis did not demonstrate any prognostic factor in surgically treated HNP, but significant associations with prognosis were observed with respect to preoperative tibialis anterior (p = 0.033) and extensor hallucis longus (p = 0.020) strength in patients with LSS. In addition, the postoperative muscle recovery in patients with HNP was significantly superior to that in patients with LSS (p = 0.011).

Conclusions

Double root compression was the most common condition associated with foot drop due to HNP. The diagnosis and preoperative tibialis anterior and extensor hallucis longus strength in LSS were factors that influenced recovery following an operation.