Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Neck FAQ

Question:

The doctor says I have a condition called cervical spondylotic myelopathy. I'm thinking about having surgery to take pressure off the spinal cord in my neck. What kind of results can I expect down the road?

Answer:

Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is a narrowing of the spinal canal through which the spinal cord passes. Pressure is put on the spinal cord causing many symptoms in the neck, arms, and hands.

Many surgeons say that surgery for this condition doesn't improve patient's symptoms. Since it's a degenerative condition, over time, the problem may get worse and the symptoms can come back.

There are only two studies reported comparing patients who had surgery with patients who didn't have surgery. The results of both studies were the same: there was no major difference in results for these two groups.

Doctors agree that more study is needed. It would be good to have a large group of patients and compare the results of various treatment options.

Joseph T. King, Jr, MD, et al. Multimodal Assessment after Surgery for Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy. In Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. May 2005. Vol. 2. Pp. 526-534.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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