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J Neurosurg Spine. 2017 Mar;26(3):325-330. doi: 10.3171/2016.8.SPINE16542. Epub 2016 Oct 28.

A novel technique to correct kyphosis in cervical myelopathy due to continuous-type ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE Although posterior decompressive surgery is widely used to treat patients with cervical myelopathy and multilevel ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL), a poor outcome is anticipated if the sagittal alignment is kyphotic (or K-line negative). Accordingly, it is mandatory to perform anterior decompression and fusion in patients with cervical kyphosis. However, it can be difficult to perform anterior surgery because of the high risk of complications. This present report proposes a novel "greenstick fracture technique" to change the K-line from negative to positive in patients with cervical myelopathy, OPLL, and kyphotic deformity. METHODS Four patients with cervical myelopathy, continuous-type OPLL, and kyphotic sagittal alignment (who were K-line negative) were indicated for surgery. Posterior laminectomy and lateral mass screw insertions using a posterior approach were performed, followed by anterior surgery. Multilevel discectomy and thinning of the OPLL mass by bur drilling was performed, then an intentional greenstick fracture at each disc level was made to convert the cervical K-line from negative to positive. Finally, posterior instrumentation using a rod was carried out to maintain cervical lordosis. RESULTS MRI showed complete decompression of the cord by posterior migration in all cases, which had been caused by cervical lordosis. Restoration of neurological defects was confirmed at the 1-year follow-up assessment. No specific complications were identified that were associated with this technique. CONCLUSIONS A greenstick fracture technique may be effective and safe when applied to patients with cervical myelopathy, continuous-type OPLL, and kyphotic deformity (K-line negative). However, further studies with more cases will be required to reveal its generalizability and safety.

KEYWORDS:

HRQOL = health-related quality of life; JOA = Japanese Orthopaedic Association; K-line; NDI = neck disability index; OPLL = ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament; VAS = visual analog scale; anterior surgery; cervical myelopathy; kyphosis; surgical technique

PMID:
27791829
DOI:
10.3171/2016.8.SPINE16542
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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