• Mazel C, Trabelsi R and Antonietti P (2002). [Systematic circumferential (360 degree) decompression treatment of major arthrotic cervical stenosis]. Rev Chir Orthop Reparatrice Appar Mot 88:449-59. Summary: PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: Worsening and irreducible evolution of neural involvement in cervical stenosis requires cord decompression. Different techniques have been proposed. We associated a dual posterior then anterior approach to achieve 360 degrees decompression. We evaluated results on the basis of neurological and mechanical outcome.MATERIAL AND METHODS: Twenty-eight patients, 16 men and 12 women, mean age 60.2 years (range 40-82) underwent surgery between 1989 and 1999 for severe cervical canal stenosis. Patients were referred for neurological symptoms: 20 for radicular symptoms (8 pain, 11 motor deficit, 12 sensitive deficit). Fifteen patients presented myelopathic symptoms. Pyramidal syndrome in 11 and tetraparesia in 3. Neurological involvement was scored according to Nurick (average 1.74) and JOA (average 12.6). Pain was scored on the Robinson scale. Levels to decompress were identified on static and dynamic plain x-rays, CT scans and MRI. Myelography was rarely used (first case only). MRI demonstrated preoperative myelomalacia in 5 patients and syringomyelia in 2. The surgical technique for 360 degrees fusion involved two steps, performed with a 1-week interval for 12 patients and during the same procedure for the others. The first approach was posterior enabling spine fixation with bilateral Roy-Camille plates and decompression by laminectomy using the lobster shell technique. The anterior approach consisted in corpectomy with the Simmons technique (22 cases or multilevel interbody fusion according to Robinson. Iliac bone grafting was used in all but one patient who had a fibular bone graft. Mean follow-up was 18.5 months (6-78).RESULTS: Neurological improvement was 1.74 to 0.92 on the Nurick sclae and from 12.6 to 15.2 on the JOA scale at last follow-up. Fusion was obtained in all cases. There were 2 cases of neurological worsening and one transient dysphagia. Operative bleeding for the two steps was 700 ml (150 ml for the posterior procedure and 400 ml for the anterior procedure).CONCLUSION: 360 degrees arthrodesis for severe cervical canal stenosis provides a satisfactory solution to mechanical problems and substantial neurological improvement. Fusion is regularly obtained without complementary anterior instrumentation. Neurological improvement is correlated with disease duration and the degree of deficit at onset. Anteroposterior decompression and 360 degrees fusion provide cure for all the components of stenotic disease. The dual approach is indicated in severe cases with cord involvement as recognized by myleopathic clinical manifestations and on the MRI. Institut Mutualiste Montsouris, 42, boulevard Jourdan, 75014 Paris, France.