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Kyle P. O’Connor, Adam D. Smitherman, Ali H. Palejwala, Greg A. Krempl and Michael D. Martin

A nterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is the most common surgical treatment for cervical stenosis with myelopathy. 6 Typically, this approach is efficient and repeatable without significant difficulty. The anterior neck houses structures such as the esophagus, trachea, common carotid arteries, jugular veins, recurrent laryngeal nerves, and thyroid gland. In this case, during a typical approach to the anterior cervical spine, retraction was impeded for midline visualization by an excessively large superior horn of the thyroid cartilage. In order to

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Nader S. Dahdaleh, Satoshi Nakamura, James C. Torner, Tae-Hong Lim and Patrick W. Hitchon

Object

In patients with cervical stenosis with myelopathy, posterior instrumentation following cervical laminectomy has been shown to reduce the incidence of postoperative instability and kyphosis. However, the indications for posterior plus anterior instrumentation are not always obvious, and using both posterior and anterior instrumentation routinely is unnecessary and excessive. This study examines the rigidity of the intact isolated cadaveric cervical spine, after C4–6 laminectomy, with posterior lateral mass instrumentation, and following posterior plus anterior instrumentation.

Methods

Ten fresh-frozen human cadaveric cervical spines from C-1 to T-2 were potted in the neutral position, and retroreflective markers were placed on C-3 and C-7. Specimens were mounted on a biomechanical testing frame, and angular rotations of C-3 relative to C-7 were measured. Pure moments of 0, 0.3, 0.6, 0.9, and 1.2 Nm were applied at C-2 in all 3 planes. Each specimen was load tested as follows: 1) in the intact state; 2) after C4–6 laminectomy; 3) with C3–7 lateral mass instrumentation; and 4) with C3–7 posterior plus anterior instrumentation.

Results

Laminectomy was not associated with a significant increase in motion compared with the intact state with any load or in any direction. Instrumentation was associated with reduction in motion in all directions, and there was no significant difference in posterior versus combined posterior and anterior instrumentation.

Conclusions

Rigidity imparted to the cervical spine by a 5-level posterior lateral mass fixation is not augmented by anterior instrumentation.

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Scott A. Meyer, Jau-Ching Wu and Praveen V. Mummaneni

Object

Two common causes of cervical myelopathy include degenerative stenosis and ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL). It has been postulated that patients with OPLL have more complications and worse outcomes than those with degenerative stenosis. The authors sought to compare the surgical results of laminoplasty in the treatment of cervical stenosis with myelopathy due to either degenerative changes or segmental OPLL.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective review of 40 instrumented laminoplasty cases performed at a single institution over a 4-year period to treat cervical myelopathy without kyphosis. Twelve of these patients had degenerative cervical stenotic myelopathy ([CSM]; degenerative group), and the remaining 28 had segmental OPLL (OPLL group). The 2 groups had statistically similar demographic characteristics and number of treated levels (mean 3.9 surgically treated levels; p > 0.05). The authors collected perioperative and follow-up data, including radiographic results.

Results

The overall clinical follow-up rate was 88%, and the mean clinical follow-up duration was 16.4 months. The mean radiographic follow-up rate was 83%, and the mean length of radiographic follow-up was 9.3 months. There were no significant differences in the estimated blood loss (EBL) or length of hospital stay (LOS) between the groups (p > 0.05). The mean EBL and LOS for the degenerative group were 206 ml and 3.7 days, respectively. The mean EBL and LOS for the OPLL group were 155 ml and 4 days, respectively. There was a statistically significant improvement of more than one grade in the Nurick score for both groups following surgery (p < 0.05). The Nurick score improvement was not statistically different between the groups (p > 0.05). The visual analog scale (VAS) neck pain scores were similar between groups pre- and postoperatively (p > 0.05). The complication rates were not statistically different between groups either (p > 0.05). Radiographically, both groups lost extension range of motion (ROM) following laminoplasty, but this change was not statistically significant (p > 0.05).

Conclusions

Patients with CSM due to either degenerative disease or segmental OPLL have similar perioperative results and neurological outcomes with laminoplasty. The VAS neck pain scores did not improve significantly with laminoplasty for either group. Laminoplasty may limit extension ROM.