Objective: There have been several reports of minimally invasive decompression for cervical canal stenosis and degenerative myelopathy. Most of these reports are for less than 4 levels and there have not been any comparative studies between Open and MIS cervical decompression for multilevel (≥4) degenerative cervical myelopathy. Methods: Twenty consecutive patients were allotted to undergo either ‘Open’ cervical laminectomy (n=10) or MIS posterior cervical decompression (n=10). All patients were evaluated for 1. Clinical, (JOA, MDI, NDI, Nurick grade, Blood loss, Duration of surgery); 2. Radiological (CSA of dural sac and Spinal cord, Muscle edema on post-op T2W MRI); 3. Laboratory (TLC, CRP, ESR, CPK) and 4. Physical (Isometric neck extensor muscle strength). Differences between Open and MIS groups were calculated with respect to above parameters.Results: The mean number of levels decompressed was 4.4 (range, 4–6). MIS group had significantly longer duration of surgery and lesser blood loss as compared to open group. The patients in open group were more disabled than MIS group pre-operatively, as evidenced by higher MDI and NDI. However, proportionate improvements were seen in both groups post-operatively in terms of all clinical parameters. Postoperative increase in CSA of spinal cord was also identical in both groups. Elevations in CRP and ESR were significantly higher in Open group post-operatively as compared to MIS group. Post-operative extensor neck muscle strength improved to a higher extent in MIS group as compared to open group though this was not statistically significant. No patient had any major post-operative complications.Conclusion: MIS posterior cervical decompression is safe and effective, can achieve similar extent of decompression and degree of clinical improvement as compared to open surgery. MIS has definite advantages of lesser blood loss, reduced tissue injury and better improvement in post-operative neck muscle strength as compared to open surgery.

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