Extensor muscle-preserving laminectomy in treating multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy compared with laminoplasty

Zhiming Yu, Da He, Jiachao Xiong, Zhimin Pan, Lingxuan Feng, Jiang Xu, Zhimin Han, Cristian Gragnaniello, Hisashi Koga, Kevin Phan, Parisa Azimi, Jong-Joo Lee, Yoon Ha, Kai Cao


Background: Laminectomy and laminoplasty are popularly used in posterior cervical spine surgery but still have involved complications. We aimed to compare the clinical outcomes of microscope-assisted extensor muscle-preserving laminectomy (MA-EMPL) and open-door laminoplasty (ODLP) in treating multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy (MCSM).
Methods: A prospective study was designed to enroll twenty patients with MCSM underwent MA-EMPL, and recruit twenty-four patients with MCSM received ODLP (control). Radiographic measurements, outcome indicators including Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) score and visual analogue score (VAS) were used to evaluate technical effectiveness. Surgical complications were documented to assess technical safety.
Results: Postoperative cervical curvature index and range of neck motion (ROM) were not significantly changed except ROM in ODLP group. Postoperative JOA score and VAS in both groups showed improvements at final follow-up. There was no statistical difference in postoperative neurological recovery rates between two groups (67.6%±17.8% vs. 70.15%±19.6%, P=0.632). However, VAS was significantly lower at postoperative 1 month in MA-EMPL group compared with ODLP group (P<0.001). The incidences of C5 palsy were 0 vs. 16.7% between MA-EMPL group and ODLP group. There was no axial symptom occurred in MA-EMPL group while six patients in ODLP group (0 vs. 25%, P=0.049). In addition, the mean blood loss and hospital stay were lesser in MA-EMPL group compared with ODLP group (P<0.001, P=0.002, respectively).
Conclusions: MA-EMPL is an effective, safe and minimally invasive method in treatment of MCSM. Compared with ODLP, MA-EMPL has advantage to decrease intraoperative blood loss, hospital stay, postoperative VAS and axial symptom, as well as preserve postoperative ROM.