Acta Orthopaedica et Traumatologica Turcica
Research Article

The effect of disruption of the repaired nuchal ligament on clinical outcomes after posterior cervical spine surgery: A retrospective comparative study

1.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hirosaki University School of Medicine, Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan

2.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Odate Municipal General Hospital, Odate, Akita, Japan

AOTT 2022; 56: 131-137
DOI: 10.5152/j.aott.2022.21217
Read: 135 Downloads: 68 Published: 01 March 2022

Objective: This study aimed to investigate whether disruption of the repaired nuchal ligament (NL) affects clinical outcomes following posterior cervical spine surgery.

Methods: This retrospective study included 101 patients (65 males, 36 females) who underwent posterior cervical spine surgery, 69 of whom received laminoplasty (LP), and 32 posterior decompression and fusion (PDF). The NL was split during the surgical approach and repaired at the time of wound closure. The frequency and spinal levels of NL disruption at one month, six months, and one year postoperatively were evaluated on mid-sagittal and axial magnetic resonance images. Postoperative axial symptoms, Neck Disability Index, T1 slope, flexion and extension angle, C2-C7 lordotic angle, and decrease rate of C2-C7 range of motion (ROM) were examined at six months and/or one year postoperatively. Based on the NL disruption levels, the patients were divided into the upper group (C2-C5), lower group (C6-T1), and non-disruption group.

Results: Although the lower group contained patients with NL disruption (10%) after LP at final follow-up, all PDF patients belonged to the non-disruption group. For the LP patients, the postoperative axial symptoms, Neck Disability Index, T1 slope, flexion and extension angle, and C2-C7 lordotic angle did not significantly differ between the lower and non-disruption groups; however, the rate of C2-C7 ROM decrease in the lower group (48%) was considerably larger than that in the non-disruption group (33%) after LP.

Conclusion: Evidence from this study has shown that postoperative disruption of the repaired NL has no significant effect on postoperative axial symptoms and C2-C7 alignment, but it can affect the rate of decrease in C2-C7 ROM after LP.

Level of Evidence: Level III, Therapeutic Study

Cite this article as: Fujita T, Takeuchi K, Yokoyama T, et al. The effect of disruption of the repaired nuchal ligament on clinical outcomes after posterior cervical spine surgery: A retrospective comparative study. Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc. 2021;56(2):131-137.

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ISSN 1017-995X EISSN 2589-1294