Nonoperative versus operative management for the treatment degenerative cervical myelopathy: an updated systematic review

dc.contributor.authorRhee, John
dc.contributor.authorTetreault, Lindsay A.
dc.contributor.authorChapman, Jens R.
dc.contributor.authorWilson, Jefferson R.
dc.contributor.authorSmith, Justin S.
dc.contributor.authorMartin, Allan R.
dc.contributor.authorDettori, Joseph R.
dc.contributor.authorFehlings, Michael G.
dc.contributor.funderCervical Spine Research Society
dc.contributor.funderGerald and Tootsie Halbert Chair in Neural Repair and Regeneration
dc.contributor.funderDeZwirek Family Foundation
dc.contributor.funderKrembil Foundation
dc.description.abstractStudy Design: Systematic review (update). Objective: Degenerative cervicalmyelopathy(DCM) is a progressive degenerative spine disease that is increasingly managed surgically. The objective of this study is to determine the role of nonoperative treatment in the management of DCM by updating a systematic review published by Rhee and colleagues in 2013. The specific aims of this review were (1) to determine the comparative efficacy, effectiveness, and safety of nonoperative and surgical treatment; (2) to assess whether myelopathy severity differentially affects outcomes of nonoperative treatment; and(3) to evaluate whether activities or minor injuries are associated with neurological deterioration. Methods: Methods from the original review were used to search for new literature published between July 20, 2012, and February 12, 2015. Results: The updated search yielded 2 additional citations that met inclusion criteria and compared the efficacy of conservative management and surgical treatment. Based on a single retrospective cohort, there were no significant differences in post treatment Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) or Neck Disability Index scores or JOA recovery ratios between patients treated nonoperatively versus operatively. A second retrospective study indicated that the incidence rate of hospitalization for spinal cord injury was 13.9 per 1000 person-years in a nonoperative group compared with 9.4 per 1000 person-years in a surgical group (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.57; 95% confidence interval = 1.11-2.22; P = .011). Conclusion: Nonoperative management results in similar outcomes as surgical treatment in patients with a modified JOA >= 13, single-level myelopathy and intramedullary signal change on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Furthermore, patients managed nonoperatively for DCM have higher rates of hospitalization for spinal cord injury than those treated surgically. The overall level of evidence for these findings was rated as low.en
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden
dc.description.versionPublished Versionen
dc.identifier.citationRhee, J., Tetreault, L. A., Chapman, J. R., Wilson, J. R., Smith, J. S., Martin, A. R., Dettori, J. R. and Fehlings, M. G. (2017) 'Nonoperative versus operative management for the treatment degenerative cervical myelopathy: an updated systematic review', Global Spine Journal, 7(3S), pp. 35-41. doi: 10.1177/2192568217703083en
dc.identifier.journaltitleGlobal Spine Journalen
dc.publisherSage Publicationsen
dc.rights© 2017, the Authors. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 License ( ) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work as published without adaptation or alteration, without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
dc.subjectCervical spondylotic myelopathyen
dc.subjectDegenerative cervical myelopathyen
dc.subjectNonoperative managementen
dc.subjectSystematic reviewen
dc.titleNonoperative versus operative management for the treatment degenerative cervical myelopathy: an updated systematic reviewen
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