Postoperative neck pain has been reported as an unsolved postoperative complication of surgery for cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL). The aim of the present study was to elucidate factors having a significant association with postoperative deterioration of neck pain in cervical OPLL patients. We studied a cohort of patients in a prospective registry of 478 patients who had undergone cervical spine surgery for cervical OPLL. We excluded those without evaluation of preoperative neck pain. Therefore, 438 patients were included in the present study. Neck pain was evaluated with the visual analogue scale (VAS, 0–100 mm). Postoperative neck pain deterioration was defined as a ≥20 mm increase of VAS neck pain. Patient factors, neurological status, imaging factors and surgical factors were assessed. Univariate analyses followed by multivariate analysis using stepwise logistic regression was performed. Six months after surgery, 50 (11.6%) patients showed postoperative neck pain deterioration and 76 (17.4%) patients showed postoperative neck pain deterioration 2 years after surgery. Six months after surgery, the rate of neck pain deterioration was significantly higher in patients who had undergone posterior surgery. Two years after surgery, the number of levels fused was significantly correlated with neck pain deterioration.
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