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Case Reports
. 2001 Nov 1;26(21):2334-9.
doi: 10.1097/00007632-200111010-00009.

Cervical Posterior Fusion With Wave-Shaped Rod Under Local Anesthesia for Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy: Review of 12 Patients

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Cervical Posterior Fusion With Wave-Shaped Rod Under Local Anesthesia for Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy: Review of 12 Patients

K Onari et al. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). .

Abstract

Study design: Clinical evaluation of cervical interspinous fusion under local anesthesia in elderly patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy.

Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of cervical posterior fusion with wave-shaped rods inserted under local anesthesia for elderly high-risk patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy.

Summary of background data: A substantial number of patients cannot undergo surgical interventions under general anesthesia because of their general medical complications. Although such patients would become unable to walk, which might induce a worsening of their general condition, conservative treatments had been adopted as the only treatment for these patients. The authors have obtained satisfactory results by means of posterior interspinous fusion under local anesthesia even in the high-risk patients with severe cervical spondylotic myelopathy. The aims of this surgical technique were to adjust cervical alignment and to stabilize the motion segment(s) without decompression.

Patients and methods: Between May 1989 and August 1998, 12 elderly patients (3 men and 9 women) with cervical spondylotic myelopathy were treated with posterior interspinous fusion using wave-shaped rods inserted under local anesthesia. The average age at the surgery was 76.9 years. The average follow-up period was 5 years 6 months. All patients were unable to walk without any assistance because of their advanced myelopathy. It was felt that all of them would be unable to accept general anesthesia because of their generally poor medical conditions. Preoperative severity of the clinical symptoms and postoperative recovery were evaluated by a scoring system proposed by the Japanese Orthopaedic Association, which had 17 points at full mark.

Results: The average duration of the surgical procedure was 122.8 minutes. The average total blood loss was 118.6 g. No instrument failures were denoted. Neither neural deterioration nor major complication was observed relating to the surgery. Radiographic bony union of the grafted bone was achieved in all patients. Progression of myelopathy was arrested in all 12 patients, and clinical symptoms were improved in 10 patients. The mean Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores had increased from 5.0 to 10.2 points.

Conclusions: Twelve high-risk patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy were treated with posterior interspinous fusion using wave-shaped rods inserted under local anesthesia. This method was evaluated as an effective surgical salvage without any mortal complications even in the elderly high-risk patients.

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