Background: Open-door expansile cervical laminoplasty (ODECL) is an effective surgical technique in the treatment of multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy. In the present study, we reviewed the safety and short-term neurological outcome after expansile cervical laminoplasty in the treatment of acute central cord syndrome. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed our database over a 3-year period (January 1997-January 2001) and identified 69 surgically treated cervical spinal cord injuries, including 29 cases of acute traumatic central cord syndrome (ATCCS). Fifteen of these patients underwent expansile cervical laminoplasty, whereas 14 did not because of radiographic evidence of sagittal instability. We collected data on the preoperative and the immediate postoperative and 3-month neurological examinations. Neurological function was assessed using the Asia Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) grading system. We also reviewed the occurrence of complications and short-term radiological stability after the index procedure. Results: The median age was 56 years. All patients had hyperextension injuries with underlying cervical spondylosis and stenosis in the absence of overt fracture or instability. The average delay from injury to surgery was 3 days. The preoperative ASIA grade scale was grade C, 8 patients, and grade D, 7 patients. There were no cases of immediate postoperative deterioration or at 3 months follow-up. Neurological outcome: 71.4% (10/14) of patients improved 1 ASIA grade when examined 3 months post injury. Conclusions: Surgical intervention consisting of ODECL can be safely applied in the subset of patients with ATCCS without instability who have significant cervical spondylosis/stenosis. Open-door expansile cervical laminoplasty is a safe, low-morbidity, decompressive procedure, and in our patients did not produce neurological deterioration.
- Acute traumatic central cord syndrome
- Cervical laminoplasty
- Surgical management
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology