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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1989 Feb;(239):69-93.

The pathogenesis of cervical spondylosis.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, George Washington University Medical Center, Washington D.C. 20037.


Cervical spondylosis is a generalized disease process affecting all levels of the cervical spine. Cervical spondylosis encompasses a sequence of degenerative changes in the intervertebral discs, osteophytosis of the vertebral bodies, hypertrophy of the facets and laminal arches, and ligamentous and segmental instability. The natural history of cervical spondylosis is associated with the aging process. Senescent and pathologic processes are thus morphologically indistinguishable. Clinical manifestations of cervical spondylosis may arise when morphologic sequelae are superimposed on a developmentally narrow spinal canal. The two clinical syndromes of spondylotic radiculopathy and myelopathy are distinct, yet they may overlap.

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