The natural history of cervical spondylotic myelopathy

Yale J Biol Med. 1993 May-Jun;66(3):235-42.


This is a retrospective study of twenty-two patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy who were admitted to the hospital for surgical treatment of their neurological condition. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the presenting symptoms, factors affecting the diagnosis and the course of the disease prior to surgical intervention. The earliest consistent symptom in all of our patients was a gait abnormality. The course of the disease was one of progressive deterioration. Spontaneous regression did not occur in any of the cases. The vagueness of the initial complaints led to considerable delay in the diagnosis (average of 6.3 years). Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was the most useful test in confirming the diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cervical Vertebrae* / surgery
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Gait
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Cord Compression / diagnosis
  • Spinal Cord Compression / etiology
  • Spinal Cord Compression / physiopathology*
  • Spinal Cord Compression / surgery
  • Spinal Osteophytosis / complications
  • Spinal Osteophytosis / diagnosis
  • Spinal Osteophytosis / physiopathology*
  • Spinal Osteophytosis / surgery
  • Time Factors