Postoperative Rigid Cervical Collar Leads to Less Axial Neck Pain in the Early Stage After Open-Door Laminoplasty—A Single-Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial

Neurosurgery, Volume 85, Issue 3, September 2019, Pages 325–334

Cervical collars are used after laminoplasty to protect the hinge opening, reduce risks of hinge fractures, and avoid spring-back phenomena. However, their usemay lead to reduced range of motion and worse neck pain.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the clinical, radiological, and functional outcomes of patients undergoing single-door laminoplasty with or without collar immobilization.

METHODS: This was a prospective, parallel, single-blinded randomized controlled trial. Patients underwent standardized single-door laminoplasty with mini-plates for cervical myelopathy and were randomly allocated into 2 groups based on the use of collar postoperatively. Clinical assessments included cervical range of motion, axial neck pain (VAS [visual analogue scale]), and objective scores (short-form 36-item, neck disability index, andmodified Japanese Orthopaedic Association). All assessmentswere performed preoperativelyandatpostoperative 1, 2, 3, and 6 wk, and 3, 6, and 12 mo. Comparative analysis was performed via analysis of variance adjusted by baseline scores, sex, and age as covariates.

RESULTS: A total of 35 patients were recruited and randomized to collar use (n = 16) and without (n = 19). There were no dropouts or complications. There were no differences between groups at baseline. Subjects had comparable objective scores and range of motion at postoperative time-points. Patientswithout collar use had higher VAS at postoperative 1 wk (5.4 vs 3.5; P = .038) and 2 wk (3.5 vs 1.5; P = .028) but subsequently follow-up revealed no differences between the 2 groups.

CONCLUSION: The use of a rigid collar after laminoplasty leads to less axial neck pain in the first 2 wk after surgery. However, there is no additional benefit with regards to range of motion, quality of life, and complication risk.