It has been well shown in many studies that Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy (CSM) is a chronic and debilitating condition that reduces quality of life (1). However, until recently no one has studied how this compares to other common chronic conditions.
The study also found that the mental impairment caused by CSM was worse than for any of the other conditions, surpassed only by back pain and sciatica.
This was a well conducted, large, multi-centre study which successfully demonstrated that CSM carries a greater physical and mental disease burden than many other conditions, including cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease. With a growing elderly population causing the prevalence of CSM to rise (3), the average age of a CSM patient is 57 (2), this study has made the important point that the condition is affecting an increasing number of people and to a greater extent than many better known diseases.
With this in mind, it is only fair to say that CSM deserves to receive a far larger share of medical attention than it does at present.
1. Al-Tamimi YZ, Guilfoyle M, Seeley H, Laing RJ. Measurement of long-term outcome in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy treated surgically. Eur Spine J . 2013 Nov;22(11):2552–7.
2. Oh T, Lafage R, Lafage V, Protopsaltis T, Challier V, Shaffrey C, et al. Comparing Quality of Life in Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy with Other Chronic Debilitating Diseases Using the SF-36 Survey. World Neurosurg. 2017 Jan 5;
3. Wang MC, Kreuter W, Wolfla CE, Maiman DJ, Deyo RA. Trends and variations in cervical spine surgery in the United States: Medicare beneficiaries, 1992 to 2005. Spine. 2009 Apr 20;34(9):955-961-963.
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