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Differences in the Demographics and Clinical Characteristics between the Ossification of the Posterior Longitudinal Ligament and Ossification of the Ligamentum Flavum in Patients Who Underwent Thoracic Spinal Surgery for Compressive Myelopathy.

Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) and ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF) are related diseases associated with the ossification of spinal ligaments that can occasionally lead to thoracic myelopathy. We retrospectively analyzed the clinical data of 34 consecutive patients who underwent thoracic spinal surgeries for OPLL and/or OLF at our hospital between July 2010 and June 2022, and statistically compared data between patients with thoracic OPLL (TOPLL; n = 12) and those with thoracic OLF (TOLF; n = 22). The mean age of the TOPLL group was significantly lower than that of the TOLF group (53.7 vs. 68.4 years). The TOPLL group exhibited a greater female predominance than the TOLF group (58.3% vs. 18.2%). The median body mass index of the TOPLL group was significantly higher than that of the TOLF group (33.0 vs. 26.0 kg/m2 ). Patients with TOPLL significantly required instrumented fusion and repetitive surgical intervention more than those with TOLF (83.3% vs. 9.1%; 50.0% vs. 0.0%). Although neurological deterioration just after the intervention was more common in patients with TOPLL (41.7% vs. 4.6%), no difference was observed in thoracic Japanese Orthopaedic Association score and recovery rate in the chronic phase between TOPLL and TOLF. The TOPLL group had a younger onset, female dominance, and a greater degree of obesity when compared with the TOLF group. The surgery for TOPLL is challenging, considering that it requires long-range decompression and fusion, subsequent operations, careful management, and long-term follow-up, when compared to TOLF, which necessitates only simple decompression.

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