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Open access

Kenji Endo, Yasunobu Sawaji, Takato Aihara, Hidekazu Suzuki, Kazuma Murata, Yuji Matsuoka, Hirosuke Nishimura, Taichiro Takamatsu, Takamitsu Konishi, and Kengo Yamamoto


As the proportion of elderly people continues to increase, the number of patients with dropped head syndrome (DHS) also grows. However, the relationship between onset and clinical course of DHS has hardly been studied, particularly, that of sudden-onset DHS has not been reported and remains unclear.


Sudden-onset DHS was defined as presenting with chin on chest deformity within 3 days from the time of awareness of cervical weakness. Sixty-six patients with DHS visited our facility. Among them, 8 of the total cases (12.1%) had experienced sudden onset DHS (6 females and 2 males; average age: 71.9 ± 10.9 years). Six of 8 cases showed recovery by conservative treatment, whose first interventions were from 0.1 to 12 months, but 3 experienced recurrence. Diffuse spinal kyphotic-type DHS was seen in 2 cases, and both had recurring horizontal gaze disturbance after initial recovery. Two unimproved cases underwent surgery of combined anterior and posterior cervical fixation, and their first interventions were at 5 and 24 months. After surgery, cervical sagittal alignment was improved, and they could walk maintaining horizontal gaze.


Sudden-onset DHS can be expected to have a better outcome, but recurrence is possible in global imbalanced-type DHS.

Free access

Yuji Matsuoka, Hidekazu Suzuki, Kenji Endo, Yasunobu Sawaji, Kazuma Murata, Hirosuke Nishimura, Hidetoshi Tanaka, and Kengo Yamamoto


Preoperative positive cervical sagittal imbalance and global sagittal imbalance are risk factors for postoperative cervical kyphosis after expansive open-door cervical laminoplasty (ELAP). The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the incidence of postoperative cervical kyphosis after ELAP and the preoperative global sagittal spinal alignment in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) without spinal sagittal imbalance.


Among 84 consecutive patients who underwent ELAP for CSM at the authors’ hospital, 43 patients without preoperative cervical kyphosis (C2–7 angle ≥ 0°) and spinal sagittal imbalance (C2–7 sagittal vertical axis [SVA] ≤ 80 mm and C-7 SVA ≤ 95 mm) were included in the study. The global spinal sagittal parameters were measured on lateral whole-spine standing radiographs preoperatively and at 1 year postoperatively. The difference in preoperative global sagittal spinal alignment between the postoperative cervical lordosis group and the cervical kyphosis group was analyzed.


The incidence of postoperative cervical kyphosis after ELAP was 25.6% (11 of 43 cases). Thirty-two patients (16 men and 16 women; mean age 67.7 ± 12.0 years) had lordosis, and 11 (7 men and 4 women; mean age 67.2 ± 9.6 years) had kyphosis. The preoperative C-7 SVA and pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis (PI−LL) in the kyphosis group were significantly smaller than those in the lordosis group (p < 0.05). The smaller C-7 SVA accompanied by a small PI−LL, the “truncal negative offset,” led to postoperative cervical kyphosis due to posterior structural weakening by ELAP.


In patients with CSM without preoperative cervical and global spinal sagittal imbalance, a small SVA accompanied by lumbar hyperlordosis is the characteristic alignment leading to postoperative cervical kyphosis after ELAP.

Restricted access

Takaki Inoue, Satoshi Maki, Toshitaka Yoshii, Takeo Furuya, Satoru Egawa, Kenichiro Sakai, Kazuo Kusano, Yukihiro Nakagawa, Takashi Hirai, Kanichiro Wada, Keiichi Katsumi, Kengo Fujii, Atsushi Kimura, Narihito Nagoshi, Tsukasa Kanchiku, Yukitaka Nagamoto, Yasushi Oshima, Kei Ando, Masahiko Takahata, Kanji Mori, Hideaki Nakajima, Kazuma Murata, Shunji Matsunaga, Takashi Kaito, Kei Yamada, Sho Kobayashi, Satoshi Kato, Tetsuro Ohba, Satoshi Inami, Shunsuke Fujibayashi, Hiroyuki Katoh, Haruo Kanno, Shiro Imagama, Masao Koda, Yoshiharu Kawaguchi, Katsushi Takeshita, Morio Matsumoto, Seiji Ohtori, Masashi Yamazaki, Atsushi Okawa, and


It is unclear whether anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ADF) or laminoplasty (LMP) results in better outcomes for patients with K-line–positive (+) cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL). The purpose of the study is to compare surgical outcomes and complications of ADF versus LMP in patients with K-line (+) OPLL.


The study included 478 patients enrolled in the Japanese Multicenter Research Organization for Ossification of the Spinal Ligament and who underwent surgical treatment for cervical OPLL. The patients who underwent anterior-posterior combined surgery or posterior decompression with instrumented fusion were excluded. The patients with a follow-up period of fewer than 2 years were also excluded, leaving 198 patients with K-line (+) OPLL. Propensity score matching was performed on 198 patients with K-line (+) OPLL who underwent ADF (44 patients) or LMP (154 patients), resulting in 39 pairs of patients based on the following predictors for surgical outcomes: age, preoperative Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score, C2–7 angle, and the occupying ratio of OPLL. Clinical outcomes were assessed 1 and 2 years after surgery using the recovery rate of the JOA score. Complications and reoperation rates were also investigated.


The mean recovery rate of the JOA score 1 year after surgery was 55.3% for patients who underwent ADF and 42.3% (p = 0.06) for patients who underwent LMP. Two years after surgery, the recovery rate was 53.4% for those who underwent ADF and 38.7% for LMP (p = 0.07). Although both surgical procedures yielded good results, the mean recovery rate of JOA scores tended to be higher in the ADF group. The incidence of surgical complications, however, was higher following ADF (33%) than LMP (15%; p = 0.06). The reoperation rate was also higher in the ADF group (15%) than in the LMP group (0%; p = 0.01).


Clinical outcomes were good for both ADF and LMP, indicating that ADF and LMP are appropriate procedures for patients with K-line (+) OPLL. Clinical outcomes of ADF 1 and 2 years after surgery tended to be better than LMP, but the analysis did not detect any significant difference in clinical outcomes between the groups. Conversely, patients who underwent ADF had a higher incidence of surgery-related complications. When considering indications for ADF or LMP, benefits and risks of the surgical procedures should be carefully weighed.