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Functional outcome of corpectomy in cervical spondylotic myelopathy

Keywords: Cervical corpectomy , cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) , cervical decompression , anterior approach

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Background : Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is serious consequence of cervical intervertebral disk degeneration. Morbidity ranges from chronic neck pain, radicular pain, headache, myelopathy leading to weakness, and impaired fine motor coordination to quadriparesis and/or sphincter dysfunction. Surgical treatment remains the mainstay of treatment once myelopathy develops. Compared to more conventional surgical techniques for spinal cord decompression, such as anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, laminectomy, and laminoplasty, patients treated with corpectomy have better neurological recovery, less axial neck pain, and lower incidences of postoperative loss of sagittal plane alignment. The objective of this study was to analyze the outcome of corpectomy in cervical spondylotic myelopathy, to assess their improvement of symptoms, and to highlight complications of the procedure. Materials and Methods: Twenty-four patients underwent cervical corpectomy for cervical spondylotic myelopathy during June 1999 to July 2005.The anterior approach was used. Each patient was graded according to the Nuricks Grade (1972) and the modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) Scale (1991), and the recovery rate was calculated. Results: Preoperative patients had a mean Nurick′s grade of 3.83, which was 1.67 postoperatively. Preoperative patients had a mean mJOA score of 9.67, whereas postoperatively it was 14.50. The mean recovery rate of patients postoperatively was 62.35% at a mean follow-up of 1 year (range, 8 months to 5 years).The complications included one case (4.17%) of radiculopathy, two cases (8.33%) of graft displacement, and two cases (8.33%) of screw back out/failure. Conclusions: Cervical corpectomy is a reliable and rewarding procedure for CSM, with functional improvement in most patients.


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