Surgical Management of Cervical Ossification of the Posterior Longitudinal Ligament: Natural History and the Role of Surgical Decompression and Stabilization

Patrick A. Sugrue, M.D.; Jamal McClendon Jr., M.D.; Ryan J. Halpin, M.D.; John C. Liu, M.D.; Tyler R. Koski, M.D.; Aruna Ganju, M.D.


Neurosurg Focus. 2011;30(3):e3 

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Follow-up data were available in 16 cases. One patient suffered a massive pulmonary embolus 1 month after surgery and died as a result. In another case, there was no record of the patient's ever returning to clinic after discharge and the patient was thus classified as lost to follow-up. Of the 16 patients for whom follow-up data were available, 31% demonstrated a significant improvement in strength on objective physical examination; 69% remained neurologically stable; and 12.5% experienced some transient weakness in 1 or more muscle groups during the immediate postoperative period. The average duration of follow-up was 9 months (range 1–36 months). There was no radiographic evidence of instrumentation loosening or failure in the short term for any patients 3 months after surgery. There was no evidence of CSF leak.


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