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Acta Neurochir (Wien). 1987;84(1-2):48-53.

Surgical and conservative treatment of cervical spondylotic radiculopathy and myelopathy.


One hundred and fourteen patients were admitted to our department for evaluation of their cervical spondylogenetic symptoms, including local cervical pain, radiculopathy and myelopathy. This retrospective study gives the results, expressed as improved, unchanged or worse, of anterior surgery, posterior surgery and conservative treatment. Local cervical pain improved in about half of the patients, without any difference between the groups. The effect of surgery on radiculopathy was superior to that of conservative treatment, 71 percent and 74 percent respectively, being improved after anterior and posterior surgery, compared to 19 percent in the conservatively treated group. The majority of patients with myelopathy were treated with posterior surgery and 69 percent had improved. The results were not influenced by the patients age or the duration of symptoms. It is argued that the positive effects of surgery on the radiculopathy are due to a segmental stabilisation rather then to decompression. The immediate post-operative improvement of the myelopathy is undoubtedly caused by the decompression while the long-termed improvement cannot with certainty be attributed to the operation.

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