2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 285-294
Introduction: The purpose of this study was to evaluate surgical outcomes using a new grading of postoperative epidural hematoma (EH) or epidural scar formation after posterior cervical spine surgery.
Methods: Postoperative EH or epidural scar formation after cervical laminoplasty (LP) or posterior decompression and fusion (PDF) were graded into Grades 1-5 by magnetic resonance imaging at 24 hours, 2 weeks, 6 months, and one year after surgery. The patients were divided into the Mild group (Grades 1-3) and the Severe group (Grades 4, 5). Perioperative factors were compared between the two groups at 24 hours after surgery. Distribution of EH or scar formation was investigated according to two surgeries. The recovery rate of Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) scores and the improvements of neck disability index (NDI) were compared between the two groups at one year postoperatively.
Results: Of the postoperative factors, posterior shift of the cervical spinal cord at C4 and C7 significantly differed between the two groups. Patients in the Severe group at 24 hours after surgery (17%) increased to 41% at 2 weeks and subsequently decreased to 16% at 6 months after LP. After PDF, 3% in the Severe group at 24 hours after surgery increased to 15% at 2 weeks and then decreased to 3% at 6 months postoperatively. Only one (3%) patient remained in the Severe group at 1 year after PDF. The recovery rate of JOA score (47.5%) of the patients in the Mild group showed trend larger than that of the Severe group (34.7%) after LP. Preoperative NDI (15.6 points) significantly improved postoperatively to 12.1 points in only the Mild group after LP.
Conclusions: The patterns of distribution of EH or scar formation did not differ between the two surgical methods. The severity of postoperative scar formation related to surgical outcomes after LP.