Surgery for ossification of the ligamentum flavum

Yasuhisa Tanaka, Tetsuro Sato, Toshimi Aizawa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Ossification of the ligamentum fl avum (OLF) is one of the most common causes of compression myelopathy in degenerative processes of the thoracic spine [1]. When OLF is the sole compressive factor in a patient with thoracic myelopathy, posterior surgery is indicated because the myelopathy usually is not alleviated by conservative treatments but, rather, continues to deteriorate. OLF varies in range and shape depending on the patient. Although it has been fairly diffi cult to ascertain OLF correctly on conventional plain radiographs, nowadays OLF can be well depicted by computed tomography (CT). Posterior surgery for OLF consists basically of two procedures: laminectomy and fenestration. The procedure should be as minimally invasive as possible, but at the same time it is necessary to be safe enough to prevent surgical complications, which are not infrequent with thoracic spine surgery [2]. We describe in this chapter (1) the classifi cation of OLF using CT fi ndings, which is essential for choosing the appropriate procedure; (2) the surgical techniques for each procedure; and (3) the surgical results.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOPLL
Subtitle of host publicationOssification of the Posterior Longitudinal Ligament
PublisherSpringer Japan
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)4431325611, 9784431325611
Publication statusPublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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