Background: The optimal surgical procedure for the treatment of cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) remains controversial. Recently, laminectomy/laminoplasty with instrumented fusion (LAMF) has been increasingly applied to treat CSM. However, few comprehensive studies have compared anterior decompression with fusion (ADF) and LAMF. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the evidence in the literature and to compare the surgical outcomes between the 2 procedures. Since the surgical outcomes and risks differ between patients with CSM and ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) and between only posterior decompression and decompression with fusion treatments, we excluded patients with OPLL and patients with only posterior decompression in this review. Methods: An extensive literature search was performed using PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library to identify comparative studies of ADF and LAMF for the treatment of CSM. The language was restricted to English, and the publication period was from January 2001 to July 2019. We only included studies about CSM and excluded studies that involved patients with ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament and with the treatment of posterior decompression without fusion. We extracted outcomes from the studies, such as preoperative and postoperative Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores, neck disability index (NDI) scores, cervical alignment data, and surgical complications. Then, a meta-analysis was performed on these surgical outcomes. Results: Eleven studies were obtained, and the quality of the studies was acceptable. In the meta-analysis, the pre- and postoperative JOA scores were similar between the ADF and LAMF groups. The ADF group exhibited more favorable results than the LAMF group in terms of postoperative cervical alignment and the NDI. Overall complications were similar between the ADF and LAMF groups; however, C5 palsy was more frequently observed in the LAMF group than in the ADF group. Conclusions: While the ADF and LAMF groups demonstrated similar results in terms of neurological recovery, postoperative cervical lordosis and NDI scores were more favorable with ADF than with LAMF. The overall complication rate was similar between the ADF and LAMF groups. Surgeons should understand the merits and shortcomings of both procedures when deciding on a surgical procedure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine