Reduction in range of cervical motion on serial long-term follow-up in patients undergoing oblique corpectomy for cervical spondylotic myelopathy
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To determine whether motion preservation following oblique cervical corpectomy (OCC) for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) persists with serial follow-up.
We included 28 patients with preoperative and at least two serial follow-up neutral and dynamic cervical spine radiographs who underwent OCC for CSM. Patients with an ossified posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) were excluded. Changes in sagittal curvature, segmental and whole spine range of motion (ROM) were measured. Nathan’s system graded anterior osteophyte formation. Neurological function was measured by Nurick’s grade and modified Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) scores.
The majority (23 patients) had a single or 2-level corpectomy. The average duration of follow-up was 45 months. The Nurick’s grade and the JOA scores showed statistically significant improvements after surgery (p < 0.001). 17 % of patients with preoperative lordotic spines had a loss of lordosis at last follow-up, but with no clinical worsening. 77 % of the whole spine ROM and 62 % of segmental ROM was preserved at last follow-up. The whole spine and segmental ROM decreased by 11.2° and 10.9°, respectively (p ≤ 0.001). Patients with a greater range of segmental movement preoperatively had a statistically greater range of movement at follow-up. The analysis of serial radiographs indicated that the range of movement of the whole spine and the range of movement at the segmental spine levels significantly reduced during the follow-up period. Nathan’s grade showed increase in osteophytosis in more than two-thirds of the patients (p ≤ 0.01). The whole spine range of movement at follow-up significantly correlated with Nathan’s grade.
Although the OCC preserves segmental and whole spine ROM, serial measurements show a progressive decrease in ROM albeit without clinical worsening. The reduction in this ROM is probably related to degenerative ossification of spinal ligaments.
KeywordsCervical spondylotic myelopathy Oblique corpectomy Motion preservation Range of motion Cervical spine
Cervical spondylotic myelopathy
Japanese Orthopedic Association
Magnetic resonance imaging
Oblique cervical corpectomy
Ossified posterior longitudinal ligament
Picture archival and retrieval system
Range of movement
The authors would like to acknowledge Debashree Turel and Dr K. Srinivas Babu for their assistance in the artwork.
Conflict of interest
The authors report no financial support or conflict of interest.
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