STUDY DESIGN.: Retrospective multi-institutional study. OBJECTIVE.: To investigate the incidence of neurological deficits after cervical laminoplasty for ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL). SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA.: According to analysis of long-term results, laminoplasty for cervical OPLL has been reported as a safe and effective alternative procedure with few complications. However, perioperative neurological complication rates of laminoplasty for cervical OPLL have not been well described. METHODS.: Subjects comprised 581 patients (458 men and 123 women; mean age: 62 ± 10 years; range: 30-86 years) who had undergone laminoplasty for cervical OPLL at 27 institutions between 2005 and 2008. Continuous-type OPLL was seen in 114, segmental-type in 146, mixed-type in 265, local-type in 24, and not judged in 32 patients. Postoperative neurological complications within 2 weeks after laminoplasty were analyzed in detail. Cobb angle between C2 and C7 (C2/C7 angle), maximal thickness, and occupying rate of OPLL were investigated. Pre- and postoperative magnetic resonance imaging was performed on patients with postoperative neurological complications. RESULTS.: Open-door laminoplasty was conducted in 237, double-door laminoplasty in 311, and other types of laminoplasty in 33 patients. Deterioration of lower-extremity function occurred after laminoplasty in 18 patients (3.1%). Causes of deterioration were epidural hematoma in 3, spinal cord herniation through injured dura mater in 1, incomplete laminoplasty due to vertebral artery injury while making a trough in 1, and unidentified in 13 patients. Prevalence of unsatisfactory recovery not reaching preoperative level by 6-month follow-up was 7/581 (1.2%). Mean occupying rate of OPLL for patients with deteriorated lower-extremity function was 51.2 ± 13.6% (range, 21.0%-73.3%), significantly higher than the 42.3 ± 13.0% for patients without deterioration. OPLL thickness was also higher in patients with deterioration (mean, 6.6 ± 2.2 mm) than in those without deterioration (mean, 5.7 ± 2.0 mm). No significant difference in C2/C7 lordotic angle was seen between groups. CONCLUSION.: Although most neurological deterioration can be expected to recover to some extent, the frequency of short-term neurological complications was higher than the authors expected.
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