2019 Volume 3 Issue 1 Pages 27-36
Introduction: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between postoperative enlargement of the dural sac cross-sectional area at the symptomatic level and neurological improvements after laminoplasty.
Methods: The cross-sectional areas of the dural sac at the symptomatic level before and after laminoplasty and the expansion ratio (post-/preoperative cross-sectional area) were measured using magnetic resonance imaging in patients with ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) (n = 25) and patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) (n = 49). The relationships between the expansion ratio and the Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) score, JOA Cervical Myelopathy Evaluation Questionnaire (JOACMEQ), and postoperative laminae morphology were investigated.
Results: In the OPLL group, the expansion ratio was significantly positively correlated with the postoperative JOA score (P = 0.025), recovery rate of the JOA score (P = 0.026), and postoperative change in lower extremity sensory function according to the JOA score (P = 0.0375); furthermore, patients whose JOACMEQ responses indicated positive outcomes for lower extremity function had a significantly larger expansion ratio than patients with negative results (P = 0.027). In the CSM group, the expansion ratio showed no correlation with the JOA and JOACMEQ scores. The expansion ratio was significantly positively correlated with the width between bilateral gutters in both CSM (P = 0.025) and OPLL (P = 0.0451). In the OPLL group, the expansion ratio in those with a gutter position of less than 0.8 was significantly smaller than that those with a gutter position of more than 0.8 (P = 0.0156). However, there was no correlation between the gutter position and the recovery rate of the JOA score.
Conclusions: In OPLL, insufficient enlargement of the cross-sectional area of the dural sac at the symptomatic level leads to poor neurological improvements after laminoplasty.