Send to

Choose Destination
Spine J. 2018 Jun;18(6):1099-1105. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2018.02.022. Epub 2018 Feb 26.

A novel anterior decompression technique (vertebral body sliding osteotomy) for ossification of posterior longitudinal ligament of the cervical spine.

Author information

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 88, Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul 05505, Republic of Korea.
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Pusan National University School of Medicine, 20, Geumo-ro, Mulgeum-eup, Yangsan-si, Gyeongsangnam-do, Busan 50612, Republic of Korea.
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, CHA Gumi Medical Center, CHA University, 12, Sinsi-ro 10-gil, Gumi-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do 39295, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:



Conventional anterior decompression surgery for cervical myelopathy, including anterior corpectomy and fusion, is technically demanding and is known to be associated with a higher incidence of surgery-related complications, including cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage, neurologic deterioration, and graft failure compared with posterior surgery.


We introduce a novel anterior decompression technique (vertebral body sliding osteotomy [VBSO]) for cervical myelopathy caused by ossification of posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) and evaluate the efficacy and safety of this procedure.


This is a case series for novel surgical technique.


Fourteen patients (M:F=11:3, mean age 56.9±10) with cervical myelopathy caused by OPLL who underwent VBSO by a single surgeon were included.


The surgical outcome was evaluated according to the Japanese Orthopaedic Association score for cervical myelopathy (C-JOA score), and the recovery rate of the C-JOA score was calculated. Patients were also evaluated radiographically with plain and dynamic cervical spine radiographs and pre- and postoperative computed tomography images.


Fourteen patients were followed up for more than 24 months, and operation time, estimated blood loss, neurologic outcomes, and surgery-related complications were investigated. Radiological measurements were also performed to analyze the following parameters: (1) canal-occupying ratio and postoperative canal widening, and (2) pre- and postoperative sagittal alignment.


The mean recovery rate of C-JOA score at the final follow-up was 68.65±17.8%. There were no perioperative complications, including neurologic deterioration, vertebral artery injury, esophageal injury, graft dislodgement, and CSF leaks, after surgery except for pseudarthrosis in one case. An average spinal canal compromised ratio by OPLL decreased from 61.5±8.1% preoperatively to 16.5±11.2% postoperatively. An average postoperative canal widening was 5.15±1.39 mm, and improvement of cervical alignment was observed in all patients, with average recovery angle of 7.3±6.1° postoperatively.


The VBSO allows sufficient decompression of spinal cord and provides excellent neurologic outcomes. Because surgeons do not need to manipulate the OPLL mass directly, this technique could significantly decrease surgery-related complications. Furthermore, as VBSO is based on the multilevel discectomy and fusion technique, it would be more helpful to restore a physiological lordosis.


Anterior decompression surgery; Cervical myelopathy; Cervical sagittal alignment; Ossification of posterior longitudinal ligament; Spinal canal widening; Vertebral body sliding osteotomy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center