K-line (−) in the neck-flexed position negatively affects surgical outcome of expansive open-door laminoplasty for cervical spondylotic myelopathy

Satoshi Nori, Narihito Nagoshi, Satoshi Suzuki, Osahiko Tsuji, Eijiro Okada, Mitsuru Yagi, Masaya Nakamura, Morio Matsumoto, Kota Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The K-line in the neck-flexed position (FK-line) on radiography reflects dynamic factors and cervical alignment. Although the FK-line has been reported to affect the neurological recovery after muscle-preserving selective laminectomy for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM), its influence on surgical outcomes after expansive open-door laminoplasty (ELAP) has not been investigated. Methods: We reviewed the surgical outcomes in 81 patients with multilevel CSM who underwent C4–C6 ELAP combined with C3 and C7 partial laminectomy using a laminoplasty plate and were followed up for at least 2 years. We defined the K-line (−) as some portion of a bony spur or the vertebral body crossing the FK-line, whereas the FK-line (+) was defined as that never crossing the FK-line. Patients were divided into the FK-line (+) (n = 61) and FK-line (−) groups (n = 20), and the surgical outcomes were compared between the groups. A multivariate analysis was performed to identify the factors that influenced the neurological outcomes. Results: The FK-line (−) group had a smaller C2–C7 angle, smaller C7 slope, greater postoperative increase in the C2–C7 sagittal vertical axis, greater kyphosis in cervical flexion and less lordosis in cervical extension, and higher incidence of postoperative residual spinal cord compression. The preoperative-to-postoperative changes in the Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) score and JOA score recovery rate (RR) were lower in the FK-line (−) group. The multiple linear regression analysis revealed that the K-line (−) (β = −0.327, P = 0.011) and high signal intensity (SI) changes on T2-weighted imaging (WI) combined with the low SI changes on T1-WI in the spinal cord (β = −0.320, P = 0.013) negatively affected the JOA score RR. Conclusions: The FK-line can be used for patients with CSM as a simple indicator of neurological outcomes after ELAP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-557
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'K-line (−) in the neck-flexed position negatively affects surgical outcome of expansive open-door laminoplasty for cervical spondylotic myelopathy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this