Objective: Cervical spondylotic myelopathy is a common cause of neurological disability, especially in aging populations. There are several approaches to decompress the cervical spinal cord, including anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, corpectomy and fusion, arthroplasty, posterior cervical laminectomy with or without fusion, and laminoplasty. Less well described is minimally invasive cervical laminectomy. The authors report their technique and results for minimally invasive cervical laminectomy. Materials and Methods: The authors describe in detail their surgical technique and results of 30 consecutive cases. Preoperative and postoperative modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) myelopathy scores were recorded. Results: In total, 30 cases were included. Mean age was 69 years (range, 57–89 y). Twelve procedures were at C3–4, 4 at C4–5, 5 at C5–6, 4 at C7–T1, 3 at C3–4 and C4–5, 1 at C4–5 and C5–6, and 1 at C5–6 and C6–7. Mean preoperative mJOA score was 12.1 (range, 4–15). Average length of surgery was 142 minutes. Mean follow-up was 27 months (range, 3–64 mo). At 3 months, mean postoperative mJOA score was 14.0 (range, 5–17). Mean mJOA improvement of 1.9 was statistically significant (P<0.001). Seventeen patients had magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) available at 3 months postoperatively (5 patients had no MRI, 3 patients had MRI contraindications, and 5 are pending). No MRI findings led to further surgery. There were no durotomies and no wound infections. A single patient had an unexplained new neurological deficit that resolved over 6 months. Conclusions: Minimally invasive laminectomy for cervical myelopathy is safe and effective and may be an underutilized procedure.
- cervical spondylotic myelopathy
- minimally invasive surgery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Clinical Neurology