Minimally invasive cervical laminectomy for spondylotic myelopathy in medically fragile patients

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Cervical spondylotic myelopathy often affects elderly and fragile patients who are not optimal candidates for major surgical procedures. Here, we report patients previously judged not suitable for cervical surgery, who were successfully treated with minimally invasive (MI) cervical decompressions without complications. Methods: Retrospectively, we reviewed medically fragile patients (e.g., too many comorbidities), previously deemed unsuitable for surgery who successfully tolerated MI cervical decompressions. The accompanying preoperative comorbidities, surgical risks, complications, and neurological outcomes were assessed. Results: Three male patients, with a mean age of 73 years, exhibited an average preoperative modified Japanese Orthopedic Association (mJOA) score of 8. The preoperative Charlson comorbidity indices, the Elixhauser comorbidity indices (respectively averaging 5.7 and 5.7 points, the preoperative Edmonton fragility index (average 12 points), and national surgical quality improvement program risks were calculated. Surgical times averaged 185 min and patients were followed for an average of 11.3 months. No patient had any immediate or delayed postoperative complications. The length of hospital stay was 1 day for each patient. The postoperative mJOA scores averaged 11, which was clinically significant. Further, the postoperative magnetic resonance imaging obtained approximately 3 months postoperative demonstrated adequate cord decompression. Conclusion: Medically fragile patients with significant cervical spondylotic myelopathy but major comorbidities precluding major surgery successfully underwent MI cervical decompressions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA33
JournalSurgical Neurology International
StatePublished - 2019


  • Cervical spondylotic myelopathy
  • Elderly
  • Medically fragile
  • Minimally invasive cervical decompression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Minimally invasive cervical laminectomy for spondylotic myelopathy in medically fragile patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this