Laminoplasty: a review of its role in compressive cervical myelopathy

James J. Hale, Konrad I. Gruson, Jeffrey M. Spivak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Background context: The currently accepted surgical treatments for compressive cervical myelopathy include both anterior and posterior decompression. Anterior approaches including multilevel discectomy with fusion or vertebral corpectomy with strut grafting, both with and without instrumentation, have enjoyed successful outcomes, but have been associated with select postoperative complications. Laminoplasty has been developed to decompress the spine posteriorly while avoiding the spinal destabilization seen after laminectomy. Purpose: The purpose of this article is to provide a review of the various techniques, biomechanical basis, predictive value of imaging modalities, clinical outcomes, and postoperative complications associated with cervical laminoplasty. Study design: A review of the literature. Methods: A comprehensive literature review using Medline was performed identifying relevant articles that addressed the techniques, clinical outcomes, and complications after cervical laminoplasty, as well as preoperative radiographic predictors of outcome. Results: The various modifications of cervical laminoplasty have generally been associated with excellent clinical outcomes when used for myelopathy secondary to cervical spondylosis or ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL). Recent long-term studies have identified issues with this technique including axial neck pain, canal restenosis, nerve root palsy, diminished cervical motion, and loss of cervical lordotic alignment. Conclusions: Cervical laminoplasty remains a reliable procedure for posterior decompression of the spine, but the optimal approach to cervical myelopathy must take into account both patient and disease characteristics, as well as the capabilities and experience of the surgeon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S289-S298
JournalSpine Journal
Issue number6 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical myelopathy
  • Cervical spine
  • Laminoplasty
  • Nerve palsy
  • Posterior approach
  • Surgical management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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