Objective: This study aimed to investigate the value of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) in anterior cervical spine discectomy with fusion (ACDF) for ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL). Methods: Patients who underwent multimodal IONM (transcranial electrical motor-evoked potentials [tcMEP], somatosensory-evoked potentials, and continuous electromyography) for ACDF from 2009 to 2019 were compared to historical controls from 2003 to 2009. The rates of postoperative neurological deficits, neurophysiological warnings, and their characteristics were analyzed. Results: Among 196 patients, postoperative neurological deficit rates were 3.79% and 14.06% in the IONM and historical control (non-IONM) groups, respectively (p < 0.05). The use of IONM (OR: 0.139, p = 0.003) and presence of myelopathy (OR: 8.240, p = 0.013) were associated with postoperative neurological complications on multivariate regression. In total, 23 warnings were observed during IONM (17 tcMEP and/or electromyography; six electromyography). Sensitivity and specificity of IONM warnings for detecting neurological complications were 84.2% and 93.7%, respectively. Conclusions: IONM, especially multimodal IONM, may be a useful tool to detect neurological damage in ACDF for high-risk conditions such as OPLL with pre-existing myelopathy. Significance: The utility of IONM in ACDF for OPLL has not been evaluated due to its rarity. This study supports the use of IONM in cervical OPLL with myelopathy.
- Anterior cervical spine discectomy with fusion
- Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring
- Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament
- Postoperative neurological complication