Background: In Japan, approximately 75% of patients with thoracic myelopathy caused by ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) are treated by posterior decompression with instrumented spinal fusion (PDF) because of its efficacy and safety. To achieve more effective decompression of the spinal cord using a posterior approach, anterior decompression through a posterior approach was developed. However, this technique has a high risk of postoperative paralysis. We have added a couple of ingenuities to this procedure (modified Ohtsuka procedure). This study was performed to report the surgical results of our modified Ohtsuka procedure and to compare them with the results of PDF. Methods: This was a retrospective case series. From 2008 to 2018, we surgically treated 32 patients: 20 patients treated by PDF (PDF group) and 12 patients by our modified Ohtsuka procedure (modified Ohtsuka group) as the initial surgery. All patients were followed up for at least 12 months. The degree of surgical invasion and patients’ neurological condition were assessed. Results: The operative duration and intraoperative blood loss indicated no significant differences (PDF vs. Ohtuska: 507 ± 103 vs. 534 ± 99 min, 1022 ± 675 vs. 1160 ± 685 ml, respectively). The preoperative Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score was 4.5 ± 2.0 in the PDF group and 3.3 ± 1.4 in the modified Ohtsuka group (p < 0.05). However, the latest JOA score and recovery rate were significantly better in the modified Ohtsuka group than in the PDF group (8.9 ± 1.2 vs. 7.4 ± 2.5 and 70.8 ± 17.6% vs. 44.5 ± 40.2%, respectively). Postoperative paralysis did not occur in the modified Ohtsuka group while four patients had it in the PDF group. Conclusions: The present study clearly indicated the modified Ohtsuka group showed significantly better surgical outcomes than the PDF group with the recovery rate ≥70%.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine