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Hiroshi Kono, Hideki Matsuda, Takafumi Maeno, Masayoshi Iwamae, and Hiroaki Nakamura

OBJECTIVE

The authors aimed to determine the efficacy of open-door laminoplasty with stand-alone autologous bone spacer for preserving enlarged lamina in patients with cervical myelopathy.

METHODS

Patients who underwent open-door laminoplasty for cervical myelopathy with stand-alone autologous bone spacer and underwent CT 1 week and 1 year after surgery were included in this study. There were 20 men and 13 women, with an average (range) age of 65.0 (37–86) years. Seventeen patients were younger than 70 years, and 16 patients were older than 70 years. Autogenous bone spacers made from spinous processes were used in all patients. Slits were made on both sides of the spacers. The lamina was raised with a curette, and a spacer was inserted without any sutures. Before surgery and 1 week and 1 year after surgery, the anteroposterior diameter (APD) of the spinal canal was measured using midsagittal-plane CT–multiplanar reconstruction. The bone union rate of the hinge side and autogenous bone spacer of each lamina was determined using CT images obtained 1 year after surgery. Results 1 year after surgery were evaluated using Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score.

RESULTS

The mean ± SD APD increase rate was 56.3% ± 21.3% 1 week after surgery and 51.7% ± 20.6% 1 year later. The average APD decrease rate was 2.9% ± 3.8%. The bone union rate on the hinge side was 100%, and that of autologous bone spacer was 93.8% 1 year after surgery. The mean APD decrease rate was 3.3% in patients younger than 70 years and 2.3% in those older than 70 years. There was no significant difference between the two groups (p > 0.05, nonpaired t-test). The JOA score averaged 10.1 before surgery and 13.3 a year after surgery (total score 17). The average improvement rate was 46.3% ± 26.4%.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors devised and implemented a technique for inserting an autologous bone spacer between the opened lamina and lateral mass without sutures. The enlarged spinal canal was maintained 1 year after surgery. This simple method does not require any instrumentation or additional cost to stabilize the opened lamina.