Can postoperative deltoid weakness after cervical laminoplasty be prevented by using intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring?
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Laminoplasty, frequently performed in patients with cervical myelopathy, is safe and provides relatively good results. However, motor palsy of the upper extremities, which occurs after decompression surgery for cervical myelopathy, often reduces muscle strength of the deltoid muscle, mainly in the C5 myotome. The aim of this study was to investigate prospectively whether postoperative deltoid weakness (DW) can be predicted by performing intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) during cervical laminoplasty and to clarify whether it is possible to prevent palsy using IONM. We evaluated the 278 consecutive patients (175 males and 103 females) who underwent French-door cervical laminoplasty for cervical myelopathy under IONM between November 2008 and December 2016 at our hospital. IONM was performed using muscle evoked potential after electrical stimulation to the brain [Br(E)-MsEP] from the deltoid muscle. Seven patients (2.5%) developed DW after surgery (2 with acute and 5 with delayed onset). In all patients, deltoid muscle strength recovered to ≥ 4 on manual muscle testing 3–6 months after surgery. Persistent IONM alerts occurred in 2 patients with acute-onset DW. To predict the acute onset of DW, Br(E)-MsEP alerts in the deltoid muscle had both a sensitivity and specificity of 100%. The PPV of persistent Br(E)-MsEP alerts had both a sensitivity and specificity of 100% for acute-onset DW. There was no change in Br(E)-MsEP in patients with delayed-onset palsy. The incidence of deltoid palsy was relatively low. Persistent Br(E)-MsEP alerts of the deltoid muscle had a 100% sensitivity and specificity for predicting a postoperative acute deficit. IONM was unable to predict delayed-onset DW. In only 1 patient were we able to prevent postoperative DW by performing a foraminotomy.
KeywordsCervical laminoplasty Postoperative deltoid weakness Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring Muscle evoked potential after electrical stimulation to the brain
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Conflict of interest
All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional committee (Wakayama Rosai Hospital ethics committee) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. Additional informed consent was obtained from all individual participants for whom identifying information is included in this article.
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