Prevalence and Characteristics of Cervical Ossified Posterior Longitudinal Ligament in the Jewish Population

Gil Kimchi*, Tomer Maimon, Liat Lerner Geva, Nachshon Knoller, Anton Peled, Gal Yaniv, Alon Orlev, Maximiliano Klug, Ran Harel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Numerous studies have demonstrated an association between ethnic identity and the prevalence rate of cervical ossified posterior longitudinal ligament (C-OPLL). To date, its prevalence rate in the Jewish population has not been determined. The aim of this historical prospective study is to evaluate the prevalence and characteristics of C-OPLL in the Jewish population. Methods: We performed a retrospective evaluation of imaging studies of all adult patients who underwent both cervical computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging for all clinical indications within a span of 36 months between January 2017 and July 2020 at a single tertiary referral hospital located in central Israel. Identified C-OPLL carriers were interviewed by telephone. All the patients provided informed consent and then were questioned for current symptoms and demographics, including religion, Jewish ethnic identity, birthplace, parental birthplace and ethnic identity, and family history of spinal disorders. Results: Overall, 440 participants were radiographically evaluated. The prevalence of C-OPLL in the Jewish population was 7.5% (33 of 440). The mean age of the C-OPLL carriers was 65.8 years. All the C-OPLL carriers were symptomatic at analysis. The carriers had an increased proportion with a Sephardic Jewish ethnic identity (65.4%), with a significantly high rate of homogeneous parental Jewish identity (92.4%), suggesting a prominent genetic contribution to the development of this condition. Conclusions: The prevalence of C-OPLL in the Jewish population in central Israel was 7.5%. This rate is significantly higher than that in other previously studied populations. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to identify the Jewish population as experiencing an increased prevalence of C-OPLL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e256-e261
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • Cervical spine
  • Epidemiology
  • Israel
  • Jewish population
  • OPLL
  • Prevalence


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