Suspended laminoplasty

Volker Neuschmelting, Ali-Reza Fathi
Journal of Neurosurgery. Spine 2008, 8 (2): 201; author reply 202

OBJECT: Cervical laminoplasty is a recognized technique commonly used for multilevel posterior cervical decompression, and it is favored over laminectomy for maintaining spinal stability. Traditional hinge techniques, however, limit lateral exposure on one side and can limit dural exposure. The authors present their experience with a modified laminoplasty technique incorporating complete laminectomy and placement of titanium miniplate instrumentation. This method allows wide bilateral posterior decompression and unobscured dural access.

METHODS: Twenty-eight patients (mean age 57 years) underwent cervical laminoplasty during a 4-year period. Twenty-seven patients presented with progressive cervical myelopathy. Seventeen patients (61%) had degenerative spondylotic stenosis; nine (32%) underwent resection of an intradural neoplasm. A mean of 3.5 levels were exposed and reconstructed. The follow-up period ranged from 4 months to 4 years (mean 15 months). The mean angular extension-flexion displacement measured between C-1 and C-7 was unchanged postoperatively, with preserved mobility across laminoplasty-treated segments in all patients. The anteroposterior diameter of the spinal canal increased 3.6 mm (27.2%) postoperatively (p = 0.004). In one patient an asymptomatic postoperative kyphosis developed. There were five cases of postoperative infection. One superficial infection resolved after intravenous antibiotic therapy alone, and four deep infections required surgical reexploration.

CONCLUSIONS: The advantages of this technique over other laminoplasty methods include wide lateral spinal canal and intradural access, as well as preserved motion with partial restoration of the posterior tension band.

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