Impact of longitudinal distance of the cervical spine on the results of expansive open-door laminoplasty

Kazuhiro Chiba, Yoshiaki Toyama, Masahiko Watanabe, Hirofumi Maruiwa, Morio Matsumoto, Kiyoshi Hirabayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Study Design. A retrospective study in patients who underwent expansive open-door laminoplasty (ELAP) for cervical myelopathy and in whom the cervical alignment was nonlordotic at the final follow-up to analyze the correlation between the longitudinal distance of the cervical spine and surgical results. Objectives. To determine the impact of longitudinal distance of the cervical spine on surgical results of ELAP and to propose a new concept, the redundant spinal cord, that may influence patient selection for ELAP. Summary of Background Data. Results in many studies have demonstrated that postoperative cervical alignment has significant effect on surgical results, and spines that are malaligned are thought to deteriorate. The current surgical data showed that not all patients with postoperative malalignment had poor surgical results. Patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) tended to have better clinical results than those with ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL). Methods. Results in 70 patients who underwent ELAP for cervical myelopathy with postoperative cervical malalignment were investigated. The longitudinal distance index (LDI) was defined as the length of a vertical line between the posteroinferior edges of C2 and C7 divided by the anteroposterior diameter of C4 and was measured on lateral neutral radiographs at final follow-up. Correlation between LDI and surgical results represented by Japanese Orthopedic Association scores and percentage of recovery were analyzed statistically in each patient. Results. Patients with CSM had smaller LDI and better surgical results than those with OPLL. Weak but significant negative correlation was detected between LDI and percentage of recovery, indicating that longitudinal distance of the cervical spine may have some degree of impact on the surgical results of ELAP. Conclusion. A decrease in LDI represents shortening of the cervical spine caused by multiple disc degeneration and may influence surgical results of ELAP by inducing redundancy of the spinal cord in patients with postoperative malalignment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2893-2898
Number of pages6
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Nov 15


  • Cervical alignment
  • Laminoplasty
  • Longitudinal distance of the cervical spine
  • Surgical indication
  • Surgical results

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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