Paraspinal Sarcopenia is Associated With Worse Patient-Reported Outcomes Following Laminoplasty for Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy : Spine

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Paraspinal Sarcopenia is Associated With Worse Patient-Reported Outcomes Following Laminoplasty for Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy

Pinter, Zachariah W. MDa; Reed, Ryder MDa; Townsley, Sarah E. MDa; Mikula, Anthony L. MDb; Lakomkin, Nikita MDb; Kazarian, Erick MDa; Michalopoulos, Giorgos D. MDb; Freedman, Brett A. MDa; Currier, Bradford L. MDa; Elder, Benjamin D. MD, PhDb; Bydon, Mohamad MDb; Fogelson, Jeremy MDb; Sebastian, Arjun S. MDa; Nassr, Ahmad N. MDa

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Spine 48(11):p 772-781, June 1, 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000004650


Study Design. 

Retrospective cohort study.


The present study is the first to assess the impact of paraspinal sarcopenia on patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) following cervical laminoplasty.


While the impact of sarcopenia on PROMs following lumbar spine surgery is well-established, the impact of sarcopenia on PROMs following laminoplasty has not been investigated.


We performed a retrospective review of patients undergoing laminoplasty from C4-6 at a single institution between 2010 and 2021. Two independent reviewers utilized axial cuts of T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging sequences to assess fatty infiltration of the bilateral transversospinales muscle group at the C5-6 level and classify patients according to the Fuchs Modification of the Goutalier grading system. PROMs were then compared between subgroups.


We identified 114 patients for inclusion in this study, including 35 patients with mild sarcopenia, 49 patients with moderate sarcopenia, and 30 patients with severe sarcopenia. There were no differences in preoperative PROMs between subgroups. Mean postoperative neck disability index scores were lower in the mild and moderate sarcopenia subgroups (6.2 and 9.1, respectively) than in the severe sarcopenia subgroup (12.9, P=0.01). Patients with mild sarcopenia were nearly twice as likely to achieve minimal clinically important difference (88.6 vs. 53.5%; P<0.001) and six times as likely to achieve SCB (82.9 vs. 13.3%; P=0.006) compared with patients with severe sarcopenia. A higher percentage of patients with severe sarcopenia reported postoperative worsening of their neck disability index (13 patients, 43.3%; P=0.002) and Visual Analog Scale Arm scores (10 patients, 33.3%; P=0.03).


Patients with severe paraspinal sarcopenia demonstrate less improvement in neck disability and pain postoperatively and are more likely to report worsening PROMs following laminoplasty.

Level of Evidence. 


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