Surgical treatment of fixed cervical kyphosis with myelopathy

Brian A. O'Shaughnessy, John C. Liu, Patrick C. Hsieh, Tyler Robert Koski, Aruna Ganju, Stephen L. Ondra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


STUDY DESIGN. A retrospective clinical study. OBJECTIVE. To investigate clinical and radiographic outcomes following the surgical treatment of fixed cervical kyphosis with myelopathy. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA. To our knowledge, a study specifically addressing the surgical treatment of fixed cervical sagittal deformity has never before been published. METHODS. Sixteen patients treated surgically for fixed cervical kyphosis and myelopathy were followed for a mean of 4.5 years (range, 25-112 months). The study group consisted of 9 males and 7 females, with an average age of 52 years (range, 31-78 years). The principal etiologies of cervical deformity were prior laminectomy (63%), advanced spondylosis (19%), infection (6%), neuromuscular disease (6%), and metabolic disease (renal osteodystrophy) (6%). All patients were clinically evaluated by the Nurick classification and Odom criteria both before surgery and at the time of most recent follow-up. Radiographic analysis was performed using thin-cut CT scans, dynamic radiographs, and 14 × 36-inch scoliosis films. RESULTS. The mean preoperative cervical Cobb angle as measured from the C2-C7 was +38° and improved to -10° at final follow-up, yielding an average correction of 48°. The mean number of anterior and posterior segments fused was 4.8 (range, 2-6) and 7.2 (range, 3-14), respectively. The mean Nurick score improved from 2.4 before surgery to 1.5 at the time of follow-up. According to Odom criteria, outcomes were as follows: excellent (38%), good (50%), fair (6%), and poor (6%). At the time of most recent follow-up, solid bony arthrodesis and maintenance of correction occurred in all patients; however, revision was required in one patient. CONCLUSION. The treatment of fixed cervical kyphosis with myelopathy using circumferential spinal osteotomies and instrumented reconstruction is technically demanding; however, restoration and maintenance of a neutral or lordotic cervical profile and excellent clinical outcomes are achievable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-778
Number of pages8
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008


  • Cervical kyphosis
  • Myelopathy
  • Osteotomy
  • Sagittal balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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