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Laminoplasty versus laminectomy with fusion for treatment of multilevel cervical compressive myelopathy: an updated meta-analysis


Background Multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) and ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) are debilitating degenerative diseases. If conservative treatment is ineffective, surgical options for multilevel CSM and OPLL include laminoplasty (LP) and laminectomy with fusion (LF). In this updated meta-analysis, we aimed to compare the clinical outcomes and complications of both approaches.

Methods We searched PubMed, the Cochrane Library and Embase datasets from their inception to 31 March 2020, to identify all eligible studies comparing LP versus LF for multilevel CSM and OPLL. Data were extracted according to predefined endpoints. We summarised data by the random-effects or fixed-effect models, as necessary.

Results Of 533 eligible studies, 16 were identified, which included 638 patients who underwent LP and 671 patients who underwent LF. No significant differences were observed between preoperative and postoperative scores of the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (p=1.0 and 0.20, respectively); Visual Analogue Scale (p=0.24 and 0.89, respectively); sagittal vertical axis ((p=0.16 and 0.87, respectively); Nurick Scale (p=0.59 and 0.17, respectively); and range of motion (p=0.67 and 0.63, respectively). However, total complications were higher for LF compared with LP (p=0.006). A significantly higher incidence of C5 palsy was observed in the LF group (p=0.004). The postoperative Neck Disability Index (NDI) was also higher in the LF group (p<0.001).

Conclusions Although LP and LF shared similar clinical improvement, LP had fewer complications, a lower incidence of C5 palsy, and better NDI scores and recovery outcomes than LF. Randomised studies are warranted to validate these findings.

  • neurosurgery
  • orthopaedic & trauma surgery

Data availability statement

Data are available in a public, open access repository. Data are available upon reasonable request. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplemental information. All datasets generated for this study are included in the article/supplemental material.

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