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Adv Orthop. 2012; 2012: 480643.
Published online Dec 22, 2011. doi:  10.1155/2012/480643
PMCID: PMC3253434
The Natural History and Clinical Presentation of Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy
Chester K. Yarbrough, Rory K. J. Murphy, Wilson Z. Ray, and Todd J. Stewart *
Department of Neurosurgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
*Todd J. Stewart: stewartt/at/
Academic Editor: Joseph S. Butler
Received July 15, 2011; Accepted October 28, 2011.
Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) refers to impaired function of the spinal cord caused by degenerative changes of the cervical spine resulting in spinal cord compression. It is the most common disorder in the United States causing dysfunction of the spinal cord. A literature review of the natural history of mild cervical myelopathy is undertaken. Clinical presentation and current concepts of pathophysiology are also discussed. While many patients with mild signs of CSM will stabilize or improve over time with conservative treatment, the clinical course of a specific individual patient cannot be predicted. Asymptomatic patients with cervical stenosis and abnormalities on electrophysiologic studies may be at higher risk for developing myelopathy.
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