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Analysis of Postoperative Clinical Outcomes in Cervical Myelopathy due to Ossification of Posterior Longitudinal Ligament Involving C2.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective study.

PURPOSE: To investigate the radiological phenotype, patient and surgery-related risk factors influencing postoperative clinical outcome for cervical myelopathy caused by ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament involving C2 following posterior instrumented laminectomy and fusion.

OVERVIEW OF LITERATURE: Ossified posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) is caused by ectopic ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament. It can cause neurological impairment and severe disability. For multilevel cervical OPLL, studies have shown good neurological recovery following cord decompression via either an anterior or posterior approach. There is, however, a lacunae in the literature regarding the outcomes of patients with OPLL extending to C2 and above (C2 [+]).

METHODS: We retrospectively studied 61 patients with C2 (+) OPLL who had posterior instrumented laminectomy and fusion at Ganga Hospital, Coimbatore between July 2011 and January 2021, with a minimum follow-up of 2 years. Data on demographics, clinical outcomes, radiology, and post-surgical outcomes were gathered.

RESULTS: Among 61 patients, 56 were males and five were females. The OPLL pattern was mixed in 32 cases (52.5%), continuous in 26 cases (42.6%), segmental in two cases (3.3%), and circumscribed in one patient (1.6%). All of our patients showed signs of neurological improvement after a 24-month follow-up. The mean preoperative modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) score was 10.6 (range, 5-11) and the postoperative mJOA score was 15.8 (range, 12-18). The recovery rate was >75% in 27 patients (44.6%), >50% in 32 patients (52.5%), and >25% in two patients (3.3%). The average recovery rate was 71% (range, 33%-100%). The independent risk factor for predicting recovery rate is the preoperative mJOA score.

CONCLUSIONS: In C2 (+) OPLL, posterior instrumented decompression and fusion provide a relatively safe approach and satisfactory results.

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