Background: Cervical spondylotic myelopathy is frequently encountered in neurosurgical practice. The posterior surgical approach includes laminectomy and laminoplasty.
Objective: To perform a systematic review evaluating the effectiveness of posterior laminectomy compared with posterior laminoplasty for patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy.
Methods: An extensive search of the literature in Pubmed, Embase, and Cochrane library was performed by an experienced librarian. Risk of bias was assessed by two authors independently. The quality of the studies was graded, and the following outcome measures were retrieved: pre- and postoperative (m)JOA, pre- and postoperative ROM, postoperative VAS neck pain, and Ishira cervical curvature index. If possible data were pooled, otherwise a weighted mean was calculated for each study and a range mentioned.
Results: All studies were of very low quality. Due to inadequate description of the data in most articles, pooling of the data was not possible. Qualitative interpretation of the data learned that there were no clinically important differences, except for the higher rate of procedure-related complications with laminoplasty.
Conclusion: Based on these results, a claim of superiority for laminoplasty or laminectomy was not justified. The higher number of procedure-related complications should be considered when laminoplasty is offered to a patient as a treatment option. A study of robust methodological design is warranted to provide objective data on the clinical effectiveness of both procedures.