Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is the most common progressive spinal cord disorder in patients more than 55 years old. This disease is also the most common cause of acquired spasticity in later life and may lead to progressive spasticity and neurologic decline. This article explores some of the controversies about CSM and reviews pertinent articles, specifically prospective and randomized clinical trials when possible, to obtain the cleanest and least biased data. The 4 current controversial topics that surround CSM are: (1) natural history of mild CSM; (2) surgical approach: anterior versus posterior; (3) laminoplasty or laminectomy; and (4) cervical arthroplasty for CSM.
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