Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Posterior laminectomy with instrumented fusion and laminoplasty are widely used for the treatment of multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy (MCSM). There is great controversy over the preferred surgical method. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the clinical outcomes and safety between laminectomy with instrumented fusion and laminoplasty for the treatment of MCSM.

Related studies that compared the effectiveness of laminectomy with instrumented fusion and laminoplasty for the treatment of MCSM were acquired by a comprehensive search in PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane library, CNKI, VIP, and WANFANG up to April 2018. Included studies were evaluated according to eligibility criteria. The main endpoints included: preoperative and postoperative Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) scores, preoperative and postoperative visual analog scale (VAS), preoperative and postoperative cervical range of motion (ROM), preoperative and postoperative cervical curvature index (CCI), overall complication rate, C5 nerve palsy rate, axial symptoms rate, operation time and blood loss.

A total of 15 studies were included in this meta-analysis. All of the selected studies were of high quality as indicated by the Newcastle-Ottawa scale (NOS). Among 1131 patients, 555 underwent laminectomy with instrumented fusion and 576 underwent laminoplasty. The results of this meta-analysis indicated no significant difference in preoperative and postoperative JOA scores, preoperative and postoperative VAS, preoperative and postoperative CCI, preoperative ROM and axial symptoms rate. However, compared with laminoplasty, laminectomy with instrumented fusion exhibited a higher overall complication rate [RR = 1.99, 95% confidence intervals (CI) (1.24, 3.21), P < .05], a higher C5 palsy rate [RR = 2.22, 95% CI (1.30, 3.80), P < .05], a decreased postoperative ROM [SMD = -1.51, 95% CI (-2.14, -0.88), P < .05], a longer operation time [SMD = 0.51, 95% CI (0.12, 0.90), P < .05] and increased blood loss [SMD = 0.47, 95% CI (0.30, 0.65), P < .05].

These results suggested that both posterior laminectomy with instrumented fusion and laminoplasty were determined to be effective for MCSM. However, laminoplasty appeared to allow for a greater ROM, lower overall complication and C5 palsy rates, shorter operation time and lower blood loss. Future well-designed, randomized controlled trials are still needed to further confirm our results.