Most cases of neurological deterioration after laminectomy for cervical radiculomyelopathy occur several weeks to months postoperatively, except when there has been direct trauma to the spinal cord or nerve roots during surgery. Four patients are described who developed episodes of neurological deterioration during the postoperative recovery period that could not be attributed to direct intraoperative trauma nor to epidural haematoma or instability of the cervical spine as a consequence of laminectomy. Following laminectomy for cervical radiculomyelopathy four patients were unchanged neurologically from their pre-operative examinations, but as they were raised into the upright position for the first time following surgery focal neurological deficits referrable to the spinal cord developed. Hypotension was present in all four cases during these episodes and three of the four patients had residual central cervical cord syndromes. These cases represent the first reported instances of spinal cord ischaemia occurring with post-operative hypotensive episodes after decompression for cervical spondylosis.
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