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Computer-Based 3D Simulations to Formulate Preoperative Planning of Bridge Crane Technique for Thoracic Ossification of the Ligamentum Flavum

Chen Yan, Huai-Cheng Jia, Jia-Xi Xu, Tao Xu, Kun Chen, Jing-Chuan Sun, Jian-Gang Shi

Second Department of Spine Surgery, Changzheng Hospital, Navy Medical University, Shanghai, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:9666-9678

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.918387

Available online:

Published: 2019-12-17

BACKGROUND: The bridge crane technique is a novel surgical technique for the treatment of thoracic ossification of the ligamentum flavum (TOLF), but its preoperative planning has not been studied well, which limits the safety and efficacy of surgery to some extent. The purpose of this study was to investigate the method of application and effect of computer-aided preoperative planning (CAPP) on the bridge crane technique for TOLF.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This retrospective multi-center included 40 patients with TOLF who underwent the bridge crane technique from 2016 to 2018. According to the utilization of CAPP, patients were divided into Group A (with CAPP, n=21) and Group B (without CAPP, n=19). Comparisons of clinical and radiological outcomes were carried out between the 2 groups.
RESULTS: The patients in Group A had higher post-mJOA scores and IR of neurological function than those in Group B (p<0.05). Group A had shorter surgery time, fewer fluoroscopic images, and lower incidence of complications than Group B. In Group A, there was a high consistency of all the anatomical parameters between preoperative simulation and postoperative CT (p>0.05). In Group B, there were significant differences in 3 anatomical parameters between postoperative simulation and postoperative CT (p<0.05). In Group B, the patients with no complications had higher post-SVOR and lower SVRR and height of posterior suspension of LOC in postoperative CT than those in postoperative simulation (p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: CAPP can enable surgeons to control the decompression effect accurately and reduce the risk of related complications, which improves the safety and efficacy of surgery.

Keywords: Computer-Aided Design, Neurosurgery, Spine, spondylosis