We reviewed 87 patients who had undergone expansive cervical laminoplasty between 1999 and 2005. These were divided into two groups: those who had diabetes mellitus and those who did not. There were 31 patients in the diabetes group and 56 in the control group. Although a significant improvement in the Japanese Orthopaedic Association score was seen in both groups, the post-operative recovery rate in the control group was better than that of the diabetic group. The patients' age and symptom duration adversely affected the rate of recovery in the diabetic group only. Smoking did not affect the outcome in either group. A logistic regression analysis found diabetes and signal changes in the spinal cord on MRI to be significant risk factors for a poor outcome (odds ratio 2.86, 3.02, respectively). Furthermore, the interaction of diabetes with smoking and/or age increased this risk. We conclude that diabetes mellitus, or the interaction of this with old age, can adversely affect outcome after cervical laminoplasty. However, smoking alone cannot be regarded as a risk factor.
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