The ideal surgical strategy for cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) remains controversial due to the lack of high-quality evidence. Herein, we prospectively investigated the surgical outcomes of anterior cervical decompression with fusion (ADF) and laminoplasty (LAMP) with cervical OPLL. Three hundred patients were included in this study (ADF: n = 89; LAMP: n = 211 patients), and propensity score matching yielded 67 pairs of patients with ADF and LAMP, in which clinical outcomes were compared. Crude analysis revealed that the ADF group showed greater neurological recovery in cervical Japanese Orthopedic Association scores at two years, compared with that in the LAMP group (53.1% vs. 44.3%, p = 0.037). The ratio of minimum clinically important difference (MCID) success was significantly greater in the ADF group (59.6% vs. 43.6%, p = 0.016). Multivariate analysis showed that the factors affecting MCID success were age, body mass index, duration of symptoms, and choice of ADF. In the 1:1 matched analysis, neurological improvement was more favorable in the ADF group (57.2%) compared to the LAMP group (46.8%) at two years (p = 0.049). However, perioperative complications, such as dysphagia and graft-related complications, were more common in the ADF group.
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