Cervical spondylotic myelopathy: a brief review of its pathophysiology, clinical course, and diagnosis

Neurosurgery. 2007 Jan;60(1 Supp1 1):S35-41. doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000215383.64386.82.


Degenerative disease of the cervical spine commonly occurs in the natural process of aging. This can lead to compression of the spinal cord and symptomatic myelopathy. We review the pathophysiological factors that lead to myelopathy and the controversial natural history of untreated myelopathy. Signs and symptoms at presentation, examination findings, differential diagnosis, and diagnostic studies are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cervical Vertebrae / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electrophysiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / pathology*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / physiopathology
  • Spinal Osteophytosis / pathology*
  • Spinal Osteophytosis / physiopathology