Comparison of Anterior Cervical Decompression and Fusion and Posterior Laminoplasty for Four-Segment Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy: Clinical and Radiographic Outcomes

J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg. 2024 Jul;85(4):331-339. doi: 10.1055/a-2005-0552. Epub 2022 Dec 30.


Background: Although anterior or posterior surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) has been extensively studied, the choice of anterior or posterior approach in four-segment CSM remains poorly studied and controversial. We compared the clinical and radiographic outcomes of four-segment CSM by posterior laminoplasty (LAMP) and anterior cervical decompression fusion (ACDF) to further explore the merits and demerits of ACDF and LAMP for four-segment CSM in this study.

Methods: Patients with four-segment CSM who underwent ACDF or LAMP between January 2016 and June 2019 were retrospectively analyzed. We compared the preoperative and postoperative cervical Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores, neck disability index (NDI), neck pain visual analog scale (VAS) score, sagittal vertical axis, cervical lordosis (CL), and range of motion.

Results: There were 47 and 79 patients in the ACDF and LAMP groups, respectively. Patients in the ACDF group had a significantly longer surgical time and lower estimated blood loss and length of stay than those in the LAMP group. There was no significant difference in the JOA, NDI, or neck pain VAS scores between the two groups preoperatively, but the NDI and neck pain VAS scores in the ACDF group were significantly lower than those in the LAMP group at the final follow-up. The preoperative C2-C7 Cobb angle of the ACDF group was significantly lower than that of the LAMP group but there was no significant difference between the two groups postoperatively. The improvement of C2-C7 Cobb angle (∆C2-C7 Cobb angle) in the ACDF group was significantly higher than that in the LAMP group. This indicated that ACDF can improve CL better than LAMP. The linear regression analysis revealed the ∆C2-C7 Cobb angle was negatively correlated with the final follow-up neck pain VAS scores and NDI. This indicated that patients with better improvement of CL may have a better prognosis.

Conclusions: Although both ACDF and LAMP surgeries are effective for four-segment CSM, ACDF can better improve CL and neck pain. For patients with poor CL, we suggest ACDF when both approaches are feasible.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cervical Vertebrae* / diagnostic imaging
  • Cervical Vertebrae* / surgery
  • Decompression, Surgical* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laminoplasty* / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / surgery
  • Spinal Fusion* / methods
  • Spondylosis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Spondylosis* / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome