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1.  Cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy: when and what can surgery contribute to treatment? 
European Spine Journal  2000;9(1):1-7.
Indications and timing ¶of surgical treatment for cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy, and the long-term results for the conditions, were reviewed. Advances in spinal imaging and accumulation of clinical experience have provided some clues as to indications and timing of surgery for cervical myelopathy. Duration of myelopathy prior to surgery and the transverse area of the spinal cord at the maximum compression level were the most significant prognostic parameters for surgical outcome. Thus, when myelopathy is caused by etiological factors that are either unchangeable by nature, such as developmental canal stenosis, or progressive, such as ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament, surgical treatment should be considered. When an etiology of myelopathy is remissible, such as soft disc herniation and listhesis, surgery may be reserved until the effects of conservative treatment are confirmed. When surgery is properly carried out, long-term surgical results are expected to be good and stable, and the natural course of myelopathy secondary to cervical spondylosis may be modified. However, little attention has been paid to the questions “When and what can surgery contribute to treatment of cervical radiculopathy?”. A well-controlled clinical study including natural history should be done to provide some answers.
PMCID: PMC3611348  PMID: 10766070
Key words Review; Cervical spondylosis; Treatment outcome; Spinal cord; Spinal nerve root
2.  Functional outcome of corpectomy in cervical spondylotic myelopathy 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2009;43(2):205-209.
Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is serious consequence of cervical intervertebral disk degeneration. Morbidity ranges from chronic neck pain, radicular pain, headache, myelopathy leading to weakness, and impaired fine motor coordination to quadriparesis and/or sphincter dysfunction. Surgical treatment remains the mainstay of treatment once myelopathy develops. Compared to more conventional surgical techniques for spinal cord decompression, such as anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, laminectomy, and laminoplasty, patients treated with corpectomy have better neurological recovery, less axial neck pain, and lower incidences of postoperative loss of sagittal plane alignment. The objective of this study was to analyze the outcome of corpectomy in cervical spondylotic myelopathy, to assess their improvement of symptoms, and to highlight complications of the procedure.
Materials and Methods:
Twenty-four patients underwent cervical corpectomy for cervical spondylotic myelopathy during June 1999 to July 2005.The anterior approach was used. Each patient was graded according to the Nuricks Grade (1972) and the modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) Scale (1991), and the recovery rate was calculated.
Preoperative patients had a mean Nurick's grade of 3.83, which was 1.67 postoperatively. Preoperative patients had a mean mJOA score of 9.67, whereas postoperatively it was 14.50. The mean recovery rate of patients postoperatively was 62.35% at a mean follow-up of 1 year (range, 8 months to 5 years).The complications included one case (4.17%) of radiculopathy, two cases (8.33%) of graft displacement, and two cases (8.33%) of screw back out/failure.
Cervical corpectomy is a reliable and rewarding procedure for CSM, with functional improvement in most patients.
PMCID: PMC2762259  PMID: 19838372
Cervical corpectomy; cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM); cervical decompression; anterior approach
3.  Cervical spondylosis. An update. 
Western Journal of Medicine  1996;165(1-2):43-51.
Cervical spondylosis is caused by degenerative disc disease and usually produces intermittent neck pain in middle-aged and elderly patients. This pain usually responds to activity modification, neck immobilization, isometric exercises, and medication. Neurologic symptoms occur infrequently, usually in patients with congenital spinal stenosis. For these patients, magnetic resonance imaging is the preferred initial diagnostic study. Because involvement of neurologic structures on imaging studies may be asymptomatic, consultation with a neurologist is advised to rule out other neurologic diseases. In most cases of spondylotic radiculopathy, the results of conservative treatment are so favorable that surgical intervention is not considered unless pain persists or unless there is progressive neurologic deficit. If indicated, a surgical procedure may be done through the anterior or posterior cervical spine; results are gratifying, with long-term improvement in 70% to 80% of patients. Cervical spondylotic myelopathy is the most serious and disabling condition of this disease. Because many patients have nonprogressive minor impairment, neck immobilization is a reasonable treatment in patients presenting with minor neurologic findings or in whom an operation is contraindicated. This simple remedy will result in improvement in 30% to 50% of patients. Surgical intervention is indicated for patients presenting with severe or progressive neurologic deficits. Anterior cervical approaches are generally preferred, although there are still indications for laminectomy. Surgical results are modest, with good initial results expected in about 70% of patients. Functional outcome noticeably declines with long-term follow-up, which raises the question of whether, and how much, surgical treatment affects the natural course of the disease. Prospective randomized studies are needed to answer these questions.
PMCID: PMC1307540  PMID: 8855684
4.  Operative Treatment of Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy and Radiculopathy 
The natural history of cervical spondylotic myelopathy is frequently one of slow, progressive neurological deterioration. The operative treatment for patients with moderate to severe involvement is decompression of the spinal cord. Laminectomy has been a traditional approach and laminoplasty has developed as an attractive alternative. The purpose of this study was to examine and compare the outcomes of these two procedures in similar groups of patients at a five year average follow-up.
A consecutive series of twenty patients who underwent open-door laminoplasty for multi-level cervical spondylotic myelopathy or radiculopathy was compared to a similar group of 22 matched patients who underwent multi-level laminectomies. Patients were similar in age, gender, number of operative levels, and length of follow-up. At the latest examination, each patient underwent a comprehensive neurological evaluation. A modification of the Nurick classification was used to assess the degree of myelopathy. Radiographs at latest follow-up were assessed for instability, and measurements of the space-available-for-the-cord and Pavlov ratio were made at involved levels.
Myelopathy, as determined by our modified Nurick scale, improved from a preoperative average of 2.44 to 1.48 in laminoplasty patients and from an average of 3.09 to 2.50 in laminectomy patients. Pain improved 57 percent and 8 percent in laminoplasty and laminectomy groups, respectively. Subjective neck stiffness was not significantly different based on the numbers available, although laminoplasty patients demonstrated some loss of range of motion on examination. The only variable that predicted the postoperative degree of myelopathy in both groups was the preoperative degree of myelopathy.
Laminectomy and laminoplasty patients demonstrated improvements in gait, strength, sensation, pain, and degree of myelopathy. Laminoplasty was associated with fewer late complications. Based on this analysis, we believe that laminoplasty is an effective alternative to laminectomy in patients with multi-level cervical spondylotic myelopathy or radiculopathy.
PMCID: PMC1888413  PMID: 15296214
5.  Cervical Laminoplasty for Multilevel Cervical Myelopathy 
Advances in Orthopedics  2011;2011:241729.
Cervical spondylotic myelopathy can result from degenerative cervical spondylosis, herniated disk material, osteophytes, redundant ligamentum flavum, or ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament. Surgical intervention for multi-level myelopathy aims to decompress the spinal cord and maintain stability of the cervical spine. Laminoplasty was major surgical advancement as laminectomy resulted in kyphosis and unsatisfactory outcomes. Hirabayashi popularised the expansive open door laminoplasty which was later modified several surgeons. Laminoplasty has changed the way surgeons approach multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy.
PMCID: PMC3184499  PMID: 21991408
6.  A new minimally invasive posterior approach for the treatment of cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy: surgical technique and preliminary results 
European Spine Journal  2003;12(3):268-273.
Degenerative cervical disorders predominantly lead to anterior spinal cord compression (by bony spurs at the posterior margin of the vertebral body or by degenerated disc), which may be central and/or foraminal. In a smaller percentage of cases, there is encroachment of the canal mainly from posterior by bulging yellow ligaments or bony appositions, resulting in compression syndromes of roots or spinal cord. The aim of this work is to present a minimally invasive posterior approach avoiding detachment of muscles for the treatment of cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy. Thirteen patients suffering from cervical radiculopathy (four patients) or myelopathy (nine patients) were operated according to this technique. In principle, the technique secures access to the diseased spinal segment via a percutaneously placed working channel (11 mm outer diameter and 9 mm inner diameter). The cervical paraspinal muscles are not deflected, but just spread between their fibres by special dilators. All further steps are performed through this channel under control of three-dimensional vision through the operating microscope. The mean follow-up period was 17 months (one patient died 9 months postoperatively), and patients were evaluated using a modified version of the Oswestry Index, called the Neck Disability Index (NDI), and the visual analogue scale (VAS) for neck and arm pain. The mean NDI (P<0.0001) improved from 13.2 (preoperatively) to 4.8 (postoperatively). The VAS for arm pain (P<0.001) and for neck pain (P<0.001) also showed marked postoperative improvement. Complete recovery of the preoperative neurological deficit was found in four patients, while the remaining eight patients showed improvement of the neurological symptoms during the follow-up period. There were no intra-operative or postoperative complications and no re-operation. The preliminary experience with this technique, and the good clinical outcome, seem to promise that this minimally invasive technique is a valid alternative to the conventional open exposure for treatment of lateral disc prolapses, foraminal bony stenosis and central posterior ligamentous stenosis of the cervical spine.
PMCID: PMC3615500  PMID: 12687439
Minimally invasive posterior approach Radiculopathy Myelopathy Foraminotomy Cervical spine
7.  Cervical spondylotic myelopathy: a review of surgical indications and decision making. 
Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is frequently underdiagnosed and undertreated. The key to the initial diagnosis is a careful neurologic examination. The physical findings may be subtle, thus a high index of suspicion is helpful. Poor prognostic indicators and, therefore, absolute indications for surgery are: 1. Progression of signs and symptoms. 2. Presence of myelopathy for six months or longer. 3. Compression ratio approaching 0.4 or transverse area of the spinal cord of 40 square millimeters or less. Improvement is unusual with nonoperative treatment and almost all patients progressively worsen. Surgical intervention is the most predictable way to prevent neurologic deterioration. The recommended decompression is anterior when there is anterior compression at one or two levels and no significant developmental narrowing of the canal. For compression at more than two levels, developmental narrowing of the canal, posterior compression, and ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament, we recommend posterior decompression. In order for posterior decompression to be effective there must be lordosis of the cervical spine. If kyphosis is present, anterior decompression is needed. Kyphosis associated with a developmentally narrow canal or posterior compression may require combined anterior and posterior approaches. Fusion is required for instability.
PMCID: PMC2588867  PMID: 8209553
8.  Do intramedullary spinal cord changes in signal intensity on MRI affect surgical opportunity and approach for cervical myelopathy due to ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament? 
European Spine Journal  2011;20(9):1466-1473.
Some controversy still exists over the optimal treatment time and the surgical approach for cervical myelopathy due to ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL). The aim of the current study was first to analyze the effect of intramedullary spinal cord changes in signal intensity (hyperintensity on T2-weighted imaging and hypointensity on T1-weighted imaging) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on surgical opportunity and approach for cervical myelopathy due to OPLL. This was a prospective randomized controlled study. Fifty-six patients with cervical myelopathy due to OPLL were enrolled and assigned to either group A (receiving anterior decompression and fusion, n = 27) or group P (receiving posterior laminectomy, n = 29). All the patients were followed up for an average 20.3 months (12–34 months). The clinical outcomes were assessed by the average operative time, blood loss, Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) score, improvement rate (IR) and complication. To determine the relevant statistics, we made two factorial designs and regrouped the data of all patients to group H (with hyperintensity on MRI, n = 31), group L (with hypointensity on MRI, n = 19) and group N (no signal on MRI, n = 25), and then to further six subgroups as well: AH (with hyperintensity on MRI from group A, n = 15), PH (with hyperintensity on MRI from group P, n = 16), AL (with hypointensity on MRI from group A, n = 10), PL (with hypointensity on MRI from group P, n = 9), AN (no signal intensity on MRI from group A, n = 12) and PN (no signal intensity on MRI from group P, n = 13). Both hyperintensity on T2-weighted imaging and hypointensity on T1-weighted imaging had a close relationship with the JOA score and IR. The pre- and postoperative JOA score and postoperative IR of either group H or group L was significantly lower than that of group N (P < 0.05), regardless of whether the patients had received anterior or posterior surgery. On the other hand, both the JOA score and IR of subgroup AH were higher than those of subgroup PH at 1 week, 6 and 12 months postoperatively (P < 0.05), as well as between subgroup AL and PL; but in group N, there was no difference between the subgroup AN and PN (P > 0.05). In conclusion, regardless of hyperintensity on T2-weighted imaging or hypointensity on T1-weighted imaging in patients with OPLL, severe damage to the spinal cord is indicated. Surgical treatment should be provided before the advent of intramedullary spinal cord changes in signal intensity on MRI. The anterior approach is more effective than posterior approach for treating cervical myelopathy due to OPLL characterized by intramedullary spinal cord changes in signal intensity on MRI.
PMCID: PMC3175899  PMID: 21526380
Anterior decompression and fusion; Laminectomy; Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament; Signal intensity on MRI
9.  Oblique Corpectomy to Manage Cervical Myeloradiculopathy 
Background. The authors describe a lateral approach to the cervical spine for the management of spondylotic myeloradiculopathy. The rationale for this approach and surgical technique are discussed, as well as the advantages, disadvantages, complications, and pitfalls based on the author's experience over the last two decades. Methods. Spondylotic myelo-radiculopathy may be treated via a lateral approach to the cervical spine when there is predominant anterior compression associated with either spine straightening or kyphosis, but without vertebral instability. Results. By using a lateral approach, the lateral aspect of the cervical spine and the vertebral artery are easily reached and visualized. Furthermore, the lateral part of the affected intervertebral disc(s), uncovertebral joint(s), vertebral body(ies), and posterior longitudinal ligament can be removed as needed to decompress nerve root(s) and/or the spinal cord. Conclusion. Multilevel cervical oblique corpectomy and/or lateral foraminotomy allow wide decompression of nervous structures, while maintaining optimal stability and physiological motion of the cervical spine.
PMCID: PMC3199080  PMID: 22028964
10.  Anterior approach versus posterior approach for the treatment of multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy: a systemic review and meta-analysis 
European Spine Journal  2013;22(7):1583-1593.
To compare the clinical outcomes, complications, and surgical trauma between anterior and posterior approaches for the treatment of multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy.
Study design
Systematic review and meta-analysis.
We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases for randomized controlled trials or non-randomized controlled trials that compared anterior and posterior surgical approaches for the treatment of multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy. Exclusion criteria were non-controlled studies, combined anterior and posterior surgery, follow-up <1 year, cervical kyphosis >15°, and cervical myelopathy caused by ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament. The main end points included: recovery rate; Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) score; reoperation rate; complication rate; blood loss; and operation time. Subgroup analysis was conducted according to the mean number of surgical segments.
A total of eight studies were included in the meta-analysis; none of which were randomized controlled trials. All of the selected studies were of high quality as indicated by the Newcastle–Ottawa scale. In five studies involving 351 patients, the preoperative JOA score was similar between the anterior and posterior groups [P > 0.05, WMD: −0.00 (−0.56, 0.56)]. In four studies involving 268 patients, the postoperative JOA score was higher in the anterior group compared with the posterior group [P < 0.05, WMD: 0.79 (0.16, 1.42)]. For recovery rate, there was significant heterogeneity among the four studies involving 304 patients, hence, only descriptive analysis was performed. In seven studies involving 447 patients, the postoperative complication rate was significant higher in the anterior group compared with the posterior group [P < 0.05, odds ratio: 2.60 (1.63, 4.15)]. Of the 245 patients in the 8 studies who received anterior surgery, 21 (8.57 %) received reoperation. Of the 285 patients who received posterior surgery, only 1 (0.3 %) received reoperation. The reoperation rate was significantly higher in the anterior group compared with the posterior group (P < 0.001). In the 3 studies involving 236 patients compared subtotal corpectomy and laminoplasty/laminectomy, blood loss and operation time were significantly higher in the anterior subtotal corpectomy group compared with the posterior laminoplasty/laminectomy group [P < 0.05, WMD: 150.10 (63.53, 236.66) and P < 0.05, WMD: 59.17 (45.69, 72.66)].
The anterior approach was associated with better postoperative neural function than the posterior approach in the treatment of multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy. There was no apparent difference in the neural function recovery rate. The complication and reoperation rates were significantly higher in the anterior group compared with the posterior group. The surgical trauma associated with corpectomy was significantly higher than that associated with laminoplasty/laminectomy.
PMCID: PMC3698351  PMID: 23657624
Anterior approach; Posterior approach; Cervical spondylotic myelopathy; Systemic review; Meta-analysis
11.  Anterior decompression for cervical spondylotic myelopathy 
European Spine Journal  2003;12(Suppl 2):S188-S194.
Cervical spondylotic myelopathy is a clinical entity that manifests itself due to compression and ischemia of the spinal cord. The goal of treatment is to decompress the spinal cord and stabilize the spine in neutral, anatomical position. Since the obstruction and compression of the cord are localized in front of the cord, it is obvious that an anterior surgical approach is the preferred one. The different surgical procedures, complications, and outcome are discussed here.
PMCID: PMC3591836  PMID: 13680314
Cervical spondylotic myelopathy; Anterior surgery; Fusion; Decompression
12.  Clinical outcomes of microendoscopic decompression surgery for cervical myelopathy 
European Spine Journal  2009;19(3):487-493.
Retrospective study on the results of microendoscopic decompression surgery for the treatment of cervical myelopathy. The purpose of this study was to describe the microendoscopic laminoplasty (MEL) technique as the surgical method in the treatment of cervical myelopathy, and to document the clinical outcomes for MEL surgery. Endoscopic surgery poses several challenges for the aspiring endoscopic surgeons, the most critical of which is mastering hand–eye coordination. With training in live animal and cadaver surgery, the technical progress has reduced the problem of morbidity following surgery. The authors have performed microendoscopic decompression surgery on more than 2,000 patients for lumbar spinal canal stenosis. Fifty-one patients underwent the posterior decompression surgery using microendoscopy for cervical myelopathy at authors’ institute. The average age was 62.9 years. The criteria for exclusion were cervical myelopathy with tumor, trauma, severe ossification of posterior longitudinal ligament, rheumatoid arthritis, pyogenic spondylitises, destructive spondylo-arthropathies, and other combined spinal lesions. The items evaluated were neurological evaluation, recovery rates; these were calculated following examination using the Hirabayashi’s method with the criteria proposed by the Japanese Orthopaedic Association scoring system (JOA score). The mean follow-up period was 20.3 months. The average of JOA score was 10.1 points at the initial examination and 13.6 points at the final follow-up. The average recovery rate was 52.5%. The recovery rate according to surgical levels was, respectively, 56.5% in one level, 46.3% in two levels and 54.1% in more than three levels. The complications were as follows: one patient sustained a pin-hole-like dura mater injury inflicted by a high-speed air-drill during surgery, one patient developed an epidural hematoma 3 days after surgery, and two patients had the C5 nerve root palsy after surgery. The epidural hematoma was removed by the microendoscopy. All two C5 palsy improved with conservative therapy, such as a neck collar. These four patients on complications have returned to work at the final follow-up. This observation suggests that the clinical outcomes of microendoscopic surgery for cervical myelopathy were excellent or showed good results. This minimally invasive technique would be helpful in choosing a surgical method for cervical myelopathy.
PMCID: PMC2899765  PMID: 19956984
Cervical spine; Clinical outcome; Endoscopic surgery; Laminoplasty; Myelopathy
13.  A role for motor and somatosensory evoked potentials during anterior cervical discectomy and fusion for patients without myelopathy: Analysis of 57 consecutive cases 
Although the usage of combined motor and sensory intraoperative monitoring has been shown to improve the surgical outcome of patients with cervical myelopathy, the role of transcranial electric motor evoked potentials (tceMEP) used in conjunction with somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEP) in patients presenting with radiculopathy but without myelopathy has been less clear.
We retrospectively reviewed all patients (n = 57) with radiculopathy but without myelopathy, undergoing anterior cervical decompression and fusion at a single institution over the past 3 years, who had intraoperative monitoring with both tceMEPs and SSEPs.
Fifty-seven (100%) patients presented with radiculopathy, 53 (93.0%) with mechanical neck pain, 35 (61.4%) with motor dysfunction, and 29 (50.9%) with sensory deficits. Intraoperatively, 3 (5.3%) patients experienced decreases in SSEP signal amplitudes and 4 (6.9%) had tceMEP signal changes. There were three instances where a change in neuromonitoring signal required intraoperative alteration of the surgical procedure: these were deemed clinically significant events/true positives. SSEP monitoring showed two false positives and two false negatives, whereas tceMEP monitoring only had one false positive and no false negatives. Thus, tceMEP monitoring exhibited higher sensitivity (33.3% vs. 100%), specificity (95.6% vs. 98.1%), positive predictive value (33.3% vs. 75.0%), negative predictive value (97.7% vs. 100%), and efficiency (91.7% vs. 98.2%) compared to SSEP monitoring alone.
Here, we present a retrospective series of 57 patients where tceMEP/SSEP monitoring likely prevented irreversible neurologic damage. Though further prospective studies are needed, there may be a role for combined tceMEP/SSEP monitoring for patients undergoing anterior cervical decompression without myelopathy.
PMCID: PMC3205491  PMID: 22059128
Anterior cervical discectomy fusion; motor evoked potentials; radiculopathy; somatosensory evoked potentials
14.  Surgical Management of Cervical Spondyloarthropathy in Hemodialysis Patients 
Dialysis-related spondyloarthropathy is a rare cause of spinal deformity and cervical myelopathy. Optimal management of cervical spine spondyloarthropathy often requires circumferential reconstructive surgery, because affected patients typically have both the anterior column and the facet joints compromised. The occasional presence of noncontiguous or "skip lesions" adds an additional level of complexity to surgical management, because decompression and fusion in an isolated segment of neural compression can worsen spine deformity by applying increased stress to adjacent cervical spine segments. We report two cases of hemodialysis patients who presented with cervical myelopathy and initially had anterior cervical discectomy or corpectomy. Because symptoms recurred due to hardware failure, both patients required posterior spine fusion as well. In retrospect, because of the hardware failure, both of these patients might have benefited from a circumferential (combined anterior and posterior) cervical spine reconstruction as their initial treatment.
PMCID: PMC2817893  PMID: 20148095
Hemodialysis; spondyloarthropathy; surgical management.
15.  Pregabalin and Radicular Pain Study (PARPS) for Cervical Spondylosis in a Multiracial Asian Population 
Pain from cervical spondylosis (CS) may result from degenerative spinal canal stenosis (cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM)) or lateral recesses compromise, leading to nerve root compression (cervical spondylotic radiculopathy (CSR)). Pregabalin was shown to be effective in randomized, placebo-controlled trials for post-herpetic neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy. We evaluate its efficacy in CS with underlying CSR or CSM in a prospective study comprising Asian patients for the first time.
Patients with CS and CSR or CSM (clinical, MRI, or electrophysiological evidence) presenting with neuropathic pain were recruited. We excluded patients with diabetes, underlying neurological disease or who were previously on antiepileptics. Pregabalin 75 mg bd was administered for 4 weeks, after which dosage was increased to 150 mg bd for another 4 weeks if the visual analog scale (VAS) was not reduced by 50%. In addition, we monitored the short form McGill pain questionnaire (SFMPQ) at baseline, 4 weeks and 8 weeks. Mood changes were monitored using the hospital anxiety and depression score (HADS) with an identical timeline.
We recruited 50 patients, of which 23 completed the trial. Of the 27 who withdrew, 12 (44%) were for somnolence. Thirteen patients’ (54%) dosages remained at 75 mg and 11 patients’ (46%) dosages were escalated to 150 mg bd. There were significantly reducing trends from baseline for VAS (ANOVA, F(1, 21) = 25.4, P < 0.0005), SFMPQ (sensory) (F(1, 22) = 11.2, P = 0.003), and SFMPQ (affective) (F(1, 21) = 10.9, P = 0.008). For VAS, there was significant reduction at 4 weeks (P = 0.001) and 8 weeks (P < 0.0005) compared to baseline. For SFMPQ (sensory), there was significant reduction at 4 weeks (P = 0.01) and 8 weeks (P = 0.006) in scores compared to baselines. For SFMPQ (affective), there was significant reduction at 4 weeks (P = 0.04) and 8 weeks (P = 0.008) in scores compared to baseline. No significant anxiety (F(1, 4) = 1.3, P = 0.32) or depression (F(1, 4) = 0.06, P = 0.82) changes were observed in the HADS.
Pregabalin is efficacious in alleviation of pain symptoms related to CSR as a first-line single agent, evaluated by quantitative severity and other experiential scales. No significant mood changes reported in other studies were demonstrated. Somnolence was commonest adverse effect leading to high dropout rates, occurring early even at the lowest dose. The findings suggest the need for further studies of efficacy at lower dosages, particularly in the Asian population.
PMCID: PMC3881992  PMID: 24400034
Cervical spondylosis; Cervical radiculopathy; Cervical myelopathy; Pregabalin; Trial; Asian
16.  Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion for the management of axial neck pain in the absence of radiculopathy or myelopathy 
Study design: Systematic review
Study rationale: Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a proven, effective treatment for relieving neck pain due to degenerative conditions of the cervical spine. Since most patients also present with radiculopathy or myelopathy, little is known as to the effectiveness of ACDF to relieve pain and improve function in patients without radicular or myelopathic symptoms.
Objective: To examine the clinical outcome in patients undergoing (ACDF) for axial neck pain without radicular or myelopathic symptoms.
Methods: A systematic review was undertaken for articles published up to March 2010. Electronic databases and reference lists of key articles were searched to identify studies evaluating ACDF for the treatment of axial neck pain only. Radiculopathy and myelopathy, patients who suffered severe trauma, or with tumor/metastatic disease or infection were excluded. Two independent reviewers assessed the strength of evidence using the grading of recommendations assessment, development and evaluation (GRADE) system, and disagreements were resolved by consensus.
Results: No comparative studies were identified. Three case series met our inclusion criteria and were evaluated. All studies showed a mean improvement of pain of at least 50% approximately 4-years following surgery. Functional outcomes improved between 32% and 52% from baseline. Most patients reported satisfaction with surgery, 56% in one study and 79% in another. Complications varied among studies ranging from 1% to 10% and included pseudoarthrosis (9%), nonunion and revision (3%) and screw removal (1%).
Conclusion: There is low evidence suggesting that patients with axial neck pain without radicular or myelopathic symptoms may receive some improvement in pain and function following ACDF. However, whether this benefit is greater than nontreatment or other treatments cannot be determined with the present literature.
PMCID: PMC3427962  PMID: 22956927
17.  Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) Spacers for Anterior Cervical Fusion: A Retrospective Comparative Effectiveness Clinical Trial 
Anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF) is the standard surgical treatment for radiculopathy and myelopathy. Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) has an elasticity similar to bone and thus appears well suited for use as the implant in ACDF procedures. The aim of this study is to examine the clinical and radiographic outcome of patients treated with standing alone PEEK spacers without bone morphogenic protein (BMP) or plating and to examine the influence of the different design of the two spacers on the rate of subsidence and dislocation.
This retrospective comparative study reviewed 335 patients treated by ACDF in a specialized urban hospital for radiculopathy or myelopathy due to degenerative pathologies. The Intromed PEEK spacer was used in 181 patients from 3/2002 to 11/2004, and the AMT SHELL spacer was implanted in 154 patients from 4/2004 to 12/2007. The follow-up rate was 100% at three months post-op and 82.7% (277 patients) at one year. The patients were assessed with the Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) questionnaire and radiographically.
At the one-year follow-up there were 118/277 patients with an excellent clinical outcome on the JOA, 112/277 with a good outcome, 20/277 with a fair outcome, and 27/277 with a poor outcome. Subsidence was observed in 13.3% of patients with the Intromed spacer vs 8.4% of the patients with the AMT SHELL. Dislocation of the spacer was observed in 10 of the 181 patients with Intromed spacers but in none of the 154 patients with Shell spacers.
The study demonstrates that ACDF with standing alone PEEK cages leads to excellent and good clinical outcomes. The differences we observed in the subsidence rate between the two spacers were not significant and cannot be related to a single design feature of the spacers.
PMCID: PMC3195819  PMID: 22016753
Anterior cervical decompression and fusion; ADCF; PEEK spacer; subsidence; dislocation.
18.  Pure cervical radiculopathy due to spontaneous spinal epidural haematoma (SSEH): report of a case solved conservatively 
European Spine Journal  2005;15(Suppl 5):569-573.
Introduction: Spontaneous spinal epidural haematoma (SSEH) is widely recognised throughout the literature as a cause of myelopathy, radicular compression being very rarely reported. Surgical management is almost always recommended, especially in the cases of spinal cord compression. Conservative treatment is reported as a curiosity and only in the case of spontaneous improvement. This report presents the particular case of a 64-year-old patient undergoing anticoagulant therapy that had a cervical radiculopathy due to a SSEH confirmed by MRI. The patient improved spontaneously and symptoms were solved with unconventional conservative treatment and without stopping the anticoagulant therapy. Conclusions: Spontaneous epidural haematoma must be kept in mind when patients undergoing anticoagulant therapy have a sudden onset of cervicobrachialgia. Even though most spinal surgeons advocate surgical treatment, a conservative approach may lead to a complete recovery and may be considered as a good option in the case of radicular involvement. Discontinuation of the anticoagulant therapy may not always be needed, especially when the clinical syndrome improves spontaneously.
PMCID: PMC1602183  PMID: 16333682
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma; Cervicobrachialgia; Anticoagulant therapy; Conservative treatment
19.  Pure cervical radiculopathy due to spontaneous spinal epidural haematoma (SSEH): report of a case solved conservatively 
European Spine Journal  2005;15(Suppl 17):569-573.
Introduction: Spontaneous spinal epidural haematoma (SSEH) is widely recognised throughout the literature as a cause of myelopathy, radicular compression being very rarely reported. Surgical management is almost always recommended, especially in the cases of spinal cord compression. Conservative treatment is reported as a curiosity and only in the case of spontaneous improvement. This report presents the particular case of a 64-year-old patient undergoing anticoagulant therapy that had a cervical radiculopathy due to a SSEH confirmed by MRI. The patient improved spontaneously and symptoms were solved with unconventional conservative treatment and without stopping the anticoagulant therapy. Conclusions: Spontaneous epidural haematoma must be kept in mind when patients undergoing anticoagulant therapy have a sudden onset of cervicobrachialgia. Even though most spinal surgeons advocate surgical treatment, a conservative approach may lead to a complete recovery and may be considered as a good option in the case of radicular involvement. Discontinuation of the anticoagulant therapy may not always be needed, especially when the clinical syndrome improves spontaneously.
PMCID: PMC1602183  PMID: 16333682
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma; Cervicobrachialgia; Anticoagulant therapy; Conservative treatment
20.  The Natural History and Clinical Syndromes of Degenerative Cervical Spondylosis 
Advances in Orthopedics  2011;2012:393642.
Cervical spondylosis is a broad term which describes the age related chronic disc degeneration, which can also affect the cervical vertebrae, the facet and other joints and their associated soft tissue supports. Evidence of spondylitic change is frequently found in many asymptomatic adults. Radiculopathy is a result of intervertebral foramina narrowing. Narrowing of the spinal canal can result in spinal cord compression, ultimately resulting in cervical spondylosis myelopathy. This review article examines the current literature in relation to the cervical spondylosis and describes the three clinical syndromes of axial neck pain, cervical radiculopathy and cervical myelopathy
PMCID: PMC3227226  PMID: 22162812
21.  Surgical treatment of cervical cord compression in rheumatoid arthritis. 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1985;44(12):809-816.
Cervical myelopathy is a rare but potentially dangerous complication of rheumatoid arthritis and presents considerable therapeutic problems. A conservative approach carries high mortality and surgical intervention is not without serious risks. Reduction of subluxation and posterior fusion is widely practised but may require prolonged bed rest and continuous skull traction, sometimes for many weeks. When anterior decompression has been attempted prolonged immobilisation and external fixation have created problems. In this series 23 rheumatoid patients with cervical myelopathy were investigated over a four-year period. Seventeen underwent anterior decompression of the cervical cord, of whom 14 had a transoral removal of the odontoid peg and pannus and posterior occipitocervical fusion during the same anaesthetic without mortality or serious postoperative complications; all but one have improved. The authors believe that early mobilisation after a combined cord decompression and internal fixation has reduced the mortality and morbidity. Management of cervical myelopathy in rheumatoid arthritis and indications for operation are discussed.
PMCID: PMC1001789  PMID: 4083936
22.  Operative Techniques for Cervical Radiculopathy and Myelopathy 
Advances in Orthopedics  2011;2012:916149.
The surgical treatment of cervical spondylosis and resulting cervical radiculopathy or myelopathy has evolved over the past century. Surgical options for dorsal decompression of the cervical spine includes the traditional laminectomy and laminoplasty, first described in Asia in the 1970's. More recently the dorsal approch has been explored in terms of minimally invasive options including foraminotomies for nerve root descompression. Ventral decompression and fusion techniques are also described in the article, including traditional anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, strut grafting and cervical disc arthroplasty. Overall, the outcome from surgery is determined by choosing the correct surgery for the correct patient and pathology and this is what we hope to explain in this brief review.
PMCID: PMC3238351  PMID: 22195284
23.  Successful treatment of cervical myelopathy with minimal morbidity by circumferential decompression and fusion 
European Spine Journal  2007;16(9):1401-1409.
Circumferential cervical decompression and fusion (CCDF) is an important technique for treating patients with severe cervical myelopathy. While circumferential cervical decompression and fusion may provide improved spinal cord decompression and stability compared to unilateral techniques, it is commonly associated with increased morbidity and mortality. We performed a retrospective analysis of patients undergoing CCDF at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) between January 2003 and December 2004. We identified 53 patients and reviewed their medical records to determine the effectiveness of CCDF for improving myelopathy, pain, and neurological function. Degree of fusion, functional anatomic alignment, and stability were also assessed. Operative morbidity and mortality were measured. The most common causes of cervical myelopathy, instability, or deformity were degenerative disease (57%) and traumatic injury (34%). Approximately one-fifth of patients had a prior fusion performed elsewhere and presented with fusion failure or adjacent-level degeneration. Postoperatively, all patients had stable (22.6%) or improved (77.4%) Nurick grades. The average preoperative and postoperative Nurick grades were 2.1 ± 1.9 and 0.4 ± 0.9, respectively. Pain improved in 85% of patients. All patients had radiographic evidence of fusion at last follow-up. The most common complication was transient dysphagia. Our average clinical follow-up was 27.5 ± 9.5 months. We present an extensive series of patients and demonstrate that cervical myelopathy can successfully be treated with CCDF with minimal operative morbidity. CCDF may provide more extensive decompression of the spinal cord and may be more structurally stable. Concerns regarding operation-associated morbidity should not strongly influence whether CCDF is performed.
PMCID: PMC2200762  PMID: 17216528
Cervical; Circumferential; Fusion; Myelopathy
24.  Single Stage Circumferential Cervical Surgery (Selective Anterior Cervical Corpectomy with Fusion and Laminoplasty) for Multilevel Ossification of the Posterior Longitudinal Ligament with Spinal Cord Ischemia on MRI 
Anterior cervical corpectomy with fusion (ACF) or laminoplasty may be associated with substantial number of complications for treating multilevel cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) with significant cord compression. For more safe decompression and stabilization in multilevel cervical OPLL with prominent cord compression, we propose circumferential cervical surgery (selective ACF and laminoplasty) based on our favorable experience.
Twelve patients with cervical myelopathy underwent circumferential cervical surgery and all patients showed multilevel OPLL with signal change of the spinal cord on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A retrospective review of clinical, radiological, and surgical data was conducted.
There were 9 men and 3 women with mean age of 56.7 years and a mean follow up period of 15.6 months. The average corpectomy level was 1.16 and laminoplasty level was 4.58. The average Japanese Orthopedic Association score for recovery was 5.1 points and good clinical results were obtained in 11 patients (92%) (p < 0.05). The average space available for the cord improved from 58.2% to 87.9% and the average Cobb's angle changed from 7.63 to 12.27 at 6 months after operation without failure of fusion (p < 0.05). Average operation time was 8.36 hours, with an estimated blood loss of 760 mL and duration of bed rest of 2.0 days. There were no incidences of significant surgical complications, including wound infection.
Although the current study examined a small sample with relatively short-term follow-up periods, our study results demonstrate that circumferential cervical surgery is considered favorable for safety and effectiveness in multilevel OPLL with prominent cord compression.
PMCID: PMC2982912  PMID: 21113361
Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament; Anterior cervical corpectomy with fusion; Laminoplasty; Japanese Orthopedic Association score
25.  Cervical Pedicle Screw Fixation Combined with Laminoplasty for Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy with Instability 
Asian Spine Journal  2012;6(4):241-248.
Study Design
A retrospective study.
To evaluate the surgical results of cervical pedicle screw (CPS) fixation combined with laminoplasty for treating cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) with instability.
Overview of Literature
Cervical fixation and spinal cord decompression are required for CSM patients with instability. However, only a few studies have reported on CPS fixation combined with posterior decompression for unstable CSM patients.
Thirteen patients that underwent CPS fixation combined with laminoplasty for CSM with instability were evaluated in this study. We assessed the clinical and radiological results of the surgical procedures. The Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) scoring system was used to evaluate the clinical results. The percentages of sli p, difference in sli p angle between maximum flexion and maximum extension of unstable intervertebrae, and perforation rate of CPS were evaluated.
The mean JOA scores before surgery, immediately after surgery, and at final follow-up were 9.1, 13.3, and 12.6, respectively. The mean percentages of sli p before surgery, immediately after surgery, and at final follow-up were 9.1%, 3.2%, and 3.5%, respectively; there were significant improvements immediately after surgery and at final follow-up. The difference in sli p angle between the maximum flexion and maximum extension of the unstable intervertebrae changed from 9.0° before surgery to 1.6° at the final follow-up. The perforation rate of CPS was 10.9%.
The results suggest that CPS fixation combined with laminoplasty is an effective surgical procedure for treating CSM with instability.
PMCID: PMC3530698  PMID: 23275807
Cervical spondylosis; Myelopathy; Instability; Cervical fixation

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