Many clinical case series have reported the predisposing factors for C5 palsy and have presented comparisons of the two types of laminoplasty. However, there have been no biomechanical studies focusing on cervical spinal cord and nerve root following laminoplasty. The purpose of this study is to investigate biomechanical changes in the spinal cord and nerve roots following the two most common types of laminoplasty, open-door and double-door laminoplasty, for cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL). A finite element (FE) model of the cervical spine and spinal cord with nerve root complex structures was developed. Stress changes in the spinal cord and nerve roots, posterior shift of the spinal cord, and displacement of the cervical nerve roots were analyzed with two types of cervical laminoplasty models for variations in the degree of canal occupying ratio and shape of the OPLL. The shape and degree of spinal cord compression caused by the OPLL had more influence on the changes in stress, posterior shift of the spinal cord, and displacement of the nerve root than the type of laminoplasty. The lateral-type OPLL resulted in imbalanced stress on the nerve roots and the highest nerve root displacement. Type of laminoplasty and shape and degree of spinal cord compression caused by OPLL were found to influence the changes in stress and posterior displacement of the cervical spinal cord and nerve roots. Lateral-type OPLL might contribute to the development of C5 palsy due to the imbalanced stress and tension on the nerve roots after laminoplasty.

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