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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-27

Cervical hemilaminectomy in the management of degenerative cervical spine myelopathy: Utilization and outcome from a neurosurgical institution in Nigeria

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Memfys Hospital for Neurosurgery; Department of Surgery, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Department of Neurosurgery, Memfys Hospital for Neurosurgery, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ned Michael Ndafia
Department of Neurosurgery, Memfys Hospital for Neurosurgery, P.O. Box 2292, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_155_20

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Introduction: Hemilaminectomy is one of the surgical options for managing cervical spondylotic myelopathy. However, it has not gained the expected popularity. This paper aims to review the utilization of hemilaminectomy, the outcome, and complications observed among patients managed with the procedure for advanced multilevel degenerative cervical myelopathy. Methods: Retrospective longitudinal analysis was done at a neurosurgical hospital in Enugu, Nigeria, between years 2010 and 2019. The Study analyzed 46 patients that had cervical hemilaminectomy for multilevel degenerative cervical myelopathy. Excluded from the study were patients offered cervical hemilaminectomy for other indications including tumor and trauma. Patients were assessed by comparing preoperative, and follow-up modified Japanese Orthopedic Association (mJOA) score and Cobb lordotic angles. The minimum postoperative follow-up period was for 1 year. Results: The mean age was 61 (43–88) years; male-to-female ratio was 3.6:1. Symptoms duration ranged from 6 months to 10 years, and 31 (67.4%) patients had significant comorbidities. The average operation time was 2 h 36 min (0.5–3.0 h). The mean blood loss was 260 mL (100–800 mL). Right hemilaminectomy was done for 37 (80.4%) patients. The average preoperative and postoperative Cobb lordotic angles were 10.90° ± 2.4° and 9.98° ± 2.1°. The mean preoperative mJOA was 8.2 ± 1.4. On follow-up 1 year after surgery, the mean mJOA score was 12.2 ± 1.1 (P = 0.0001). The neurological recovery rate at 1-year follow-up was 50.5%. One patient each experienced a transient postoperative drop in neurology, postoperative respiratory distress, and surgical site infection. Conclusion: Cervical hemilaminectomy for multilevel degenerative cervical spine myelopathy has the potential to achieve clinically satisfactory neurological improvement without significantly compromising stability and other serious long-term complications.

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