Surgical and general complications in 2,961 Japanese patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy: Comparison of different age groups


Yasuaki Imajo1), Toshihiko Taguchi1), Masashi Neo2), Koji Otani3), Tadanori Ogata4), Hiroshi Ozawa5), Naohisa Miyakoshi6), Hideki Murakami7), Tetsuhiro Iguchi8)

1) Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan
2) Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Osaka Medical College, Japan
3) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Fukushima Medical University, School of Medicine, Japan
4) Spine Center, Ehime University Hospital, Japan
5) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Japan
6) Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Akita University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan
7) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Graduate School of Medical Science Kanazawa University, Japan
8) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hyogo Rehabilitation Center Hospital, Japan


Introduction: Details of surgical and general complications for patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) are still uncertain. The purpose of this study was to describe surgeries and their complications among Japanese patients with CSM. Methods: The Japanese Society for Spine Surgery and Related Research performed a nationwide survey on spine surgery and complications in 2011. Data of patients with 2,961 CSM >40 years old were included. The clinicopathological variables were basic demographic and clinical information, surgical information, and surgical and general complications. To examine the influence of age, variables were compared among three age groups: patients 40-64 (n=1,123), 65-74 (n=966), and ≥75 (n=872) years of age. Results: The study included 1,970 males and 991 females and the mean age was 64.3 years old. There were 168 anterior (5.7%) and 2,770 posterior (94.2%) approach surgeries. The vast majority of patients with CSM were treated using the posterior approach, 89.4% of whom had decompression surgery only. Anterior surgeries were more common in the younger age group, but posterior surgeries were equally distributed. The incidence of total complications including surgical/general complications was similar for the anterior (16/168; 9.5%) and posterior (295/2,770; 10.6%) approaches. No patient died on the operating table, but four patients (0.1%) died within one month after surgery. No association was detected between complications and age, comorbidity, and other surgical factors. The incidence of complications was similar for the different age groups. However general complications were predominantly observed in the older group and those who had instrumented surgery. Conclusions: The results indicate that the indication and surgical performance for patients with CSM is favorable in Japan, despite the super-aging population. Few serious complications were reported in this study. However, more detailed informed consent about surgical and, in particular, general complications is necessary for the older patients with CSM.

Released: January 27, 2017; doi: