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Paul G. Matz, Langston T. Holly, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Paul A. Anderson, Michael W. Groff, Robert F. Heary, Michael G. Kaiser, Timothy C. Ryken, Tanvir F. Choudhri, Edward J. Vresilovic and Daniel K. Resnick

Object

The objective of this systematic review was to use evidence-based medicine to examine the efficacy of anterior cervical surgery for the treatment of cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM).

Methods

The National Library of Medicine and Cochrane Database were queried using MeSH headings and key words relevant to anterior cervical surgery and CSM. Abstracts were reviewed, and studies meeting inclusion criteria were selected. The guidelines group assembled an evidentiary table summarizing the quality of evidence (Classes I–III). Disagreements regarding the level of evidence were resolved through an expert consensus conference. The group formulated recommendations that contained the degree of strength based on the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines network. Validation was done through peer review by the Joint Guidelines Committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Results

Mild CSM (modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association [mJOA] scale scores > 12) responds in the short term (3 years) to either surgical decompression or nonoperative therapy (prolonged immobilization in a stiff cervical collar, “low-risk” activity modification or bed rest, and antiinflammatory medications) (Class II). More severe CSM responds to surgical decompression with benefits being maintained a minimum of 5 years and as long as 15 years postoperatively (Class III).

Conclusions

Treatment of mild CSM may involve surgical decompression or nonoperative therapy for the first 3 years after diagnosis. More severe CSM (mJOA scale score ≤ 12) should be considered for surgery depending upon the individual case. The shortcomings of this systematic review are that the group was not able to determine whether an mJOA scale score of 12 was indicative of a more severe CSM disease course, and whether patients who received nonsurgical treatment for 3 years had a significant probability for clinical deterioration after that time point.

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Timothy C. Ryken, Robert F. Heary, Paul G. Matz, Paul A. Anderson, Michael W. Groff, Langston T. Holly, Michael G. Kaiser, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Tanvir F. Choudhri, Edward J. Vresilovic and Daniel K. Resnick

Object

The objective of this systematic review was to use evidence-based medicine to examine the efficacy of cervical laminectomy for the treatment of cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM).

Methods

The National Library of Medicine and Cochrane Database were queried using MeSH headings and keywords relevant to cervical laminectomy and CSM. Abstracts were reviewed after which studies meeting inclusion criteria were selected. The guidelines group assembled an evidentiary table summarizing the quality of evidence (Classes I–III). Disagreements regarding the level of evidence were resolved through an expert consensus conference. The group formulated recommendations that contained the degree of strength based on the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines network. Validation was done through peer review by the Joint Guidelines Committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Results

Laminectomy has improved functional outcome for symptomatic cervical myelopathy (Class III). The limitations of the technique are an increased risk of postoperative kyphosis compared to anterior techniques or laminoplasty or laminectomy with fusion (Class III). However, the development of kyphosis may not necessarily to diminish the clinical outcome (Class III).

Conclusions

Laminectomy is an acceptable therapy for near-term functional improvement of CSM (Class III). It is associated with development of kyphosis, however.

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Robert F. Heary, Timothy C. Ryken, Paul G. Matz, Paul A. Anderson, Michael W. Groff, Langston T. Holly, Michael G. Kaiser, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Tanvir F. Choudhri, Edward J. Vresilovic and Daniel K. Resnick

Object

The objective of this systematic review was to use evidence-based medicine to examine the efficacy of posterior laminoforaminotomy in the treatment of cervical radiculopathy.

Methods

The National Library of Medicine and Cochrane Database were queried using MeSH headings and key words relevant to posterior laminoforaminotomy and cervical radiculopathy. Abstracts were reviewed, and studies meeting inclusion criteria were selected. The guidelines group assembled an evidentiary table summarizing the quality of evidence (Classes I–III). Disagreements regarding the level of evidence were resolved through an expert consensus conference. The group formulated recommendations which contained the degree of strength based on the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines network. Validation was done through peer review by the Joint Guidelines Committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Results

Posterior laminoforaminotomy improves clinical outcome in the treatment of cervical radiculopathy resulting from soft lateral cervical disc displacement or cervical spondylosis with resulting narrowing of the lateral recess. All studies were Class III. The most frequent design flaw involved the lack of utilization of validated outcomes measures. In addition, few historical studies included a detailed preoperative analysis of the patients. As such, the vast majority of studies that included both pre- and postoperative assessments with legitimate outcomes measures have been performed since 1990.

Conclusions

Posterior laminoforaminotomy is an effective treatment for cervical radiculopathy.

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Paul G. Matz, Paul A. Anderson, Michael W. Groff, Robert F. Heary, Langston T. Holly, Michael G. Kaiser, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Timothy C. Ryken, Tanvir F. Choudhri, Edward J. Vresilovic and Daniel K. Resnick

Object

The objective of this systematic review was to use evidence-based medicine to examine the efficacy of cervical laminoplasty in the treatment of cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM).

Methods

The National Library of Medicine and Cochrane Database were queried using MeSH headings and keywords relevant to cervical laminoplasty and CSM. Abstracts were reviewed and studies meeting the inclusion criteria were selected. The guidelines group assembled an evidentiary table summarizing the quality of evidence (Classes I–III). Disagreements regarding the level of evidence were resolved through an expert consensus conference. The group formulated recommendations that contained the degree of strength based on the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines network. Validation was done through peer review by the Joint Guidelines Committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Results

Cervical laminoplasty has improved functional outcome in the setting of CSM or ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament. Using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association scale score, ~ 55–60% average recovery rate has been observed (Class III). The functional improvement observed after laminoplasty may be limited by duration of symptoms, severity of stenosis, severity of myelopathy, and poorly controlled diabetes as negative risk factors (Class II). There is conflicting evidence regarding age, with 1 study citing it as a negative risk factor, and another not demonstrating this result.

Conclusions

Cervical laminoplasty is recommended for the treatment of CSM or ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (Class III).

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Praveen V. Mummaneni, Michael G. Kaiser, Paul G. Matz, Paul A. Anderson, Michael W. Groff, Robert F. Heary, Langston T. Holly, Timothy C. Ryken, Tanvir F. Choudhri, Edward J. Vresilovic and Daniel K. Resnick

Object

The objective of this systematic review was to use evidence-based medicine to compare the efficacy of different surgical techniques for the treatment of cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM).

Methods

The National Library of Medicine and Cochrane Database were queried using MeSH headings and keywords relevant to anterior and posterior cervical spine surgery and CSM. The guidelines group assembled an evidentiary table summarizing the quality of evidence (Classes I–III). The group formulated recommendations that contained the degree of strength based on the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines network. Validation was done through peer review by the Joint Guidelines Committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Results

A variety of techniques have improved functional outcome after surgical treatment for CSM, including anterior cervical discectomy with fusion (ACDF), anterior cervical corpectomy with fusion (ACCF), laminoplasty, laminectomy, and laminectomy with fusion (Class III). Anterior cervical discectomy with fusion and ACCF appear to yield similar results in multilevel spine decompression for lesions at the disc level. The use of anterior plating allows for equivalent fusion rates between these techniques (Class III). If anterior fixation is not used, ACCF may provide a higher fusion rate than multilevel ACDF but also a higher graft failure rate than multilevel ACDF (Class III). Anterior cervical discectomy with fusion, ACCF, laminectomy, laminoplasty, and laminectomy with arthrodesis all provide near-term functional improvement for CSM. However, laminectomy is associated with late deterioration compared with the other types of anterior and posterior surgeries (Class III).

Conclusions

Multiple approaches exist with similar near-term improvements; however, laminectomy appears to have a late deterioration rate that may need to be considered when appropriate.

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Langston T. Holly, Paul G. Matz, Paul A. Anderson, Michael W. Groff, Robert F. Heary, Michael G. Kaiser, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Timothy C. Ryken, Tanvir F. Choudhri, Edward J. Vresilovic and Daniel K. Resnick

Object

The objective of this systematic review was to use evidence-based medicine to assess whether clinical factors predict surgical outcomes in patients undergoing cervical surgery.

Methods

The National Library of Medicine and Cochrane Database were queried using MeSH headings and keywords relevant to clinical preoperative factors. Abstracts were reviewed, and studies that met the inclusion criteria were selected. The guidelines group assembled an evidentiary table summarizing the quality of evidence (Classes I–III). Disagreements regarding the level of evidence were resolved through an expert consensus conference. The group formulated recommendations that contained the degree of strength based on the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines network. Validation was done through peer review by the Joint Guidelines Committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Results

Preoperative sensory-evoked potentials may aid in providing prognostic information in selected patients in whom clinical factors do not provide clear guidance (Class II). Age, duration of symptoms, and preoperative neurological function may commonly affect outcome (Class III).

Conclusions

Age, duration of symptoms, and preoperative neurological function should be discussed with patients when surgical intervention for cervical spondylotic myelopathy is considered. Preoperative sensory-evoked potentials may be considered for patients in whom clinical factors do not provide clear guidance if such information would potentially change therapeutic decisions.

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Daniel K. Resnick, Paul A. Anderson, Michael G. Kaiser, Michael W. Groff, Robert F. Heary, Langston T. Holly, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Timothy C. Ryken, Tanvir F. Choudhri, Edward J. Vresilovic and Paul G. Matz

Object

The objective of this systematic review was to use evidence-based medicine to examine the diagnostic and therapeutic utility of intraoperative electrophysiological (EP) monitoring in the surgical treatment of cervical degenerative disease.

Methods

The National Library of Medicine and Cochrane Database were queried using MeSH headings and key words relevant to cervical spine surgery and EP monitoring. The guidelines group assembled an evidentiary table summarizing the quality of evidence (Classes I–III). The group formulated recommendations that contained the degree of strength based on the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines network. Validation was done through peer review by the Joint Guidelines Committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Results

The reliance on changes in EP monitoring as an indication to alter a surgical plan or administer steroids has not been observed to reduce the incidence of neurological injury during routine surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy or cervical radiculopathy (Class III). However, there is an absence of study data examining the benefit of altering a surgical plan due to EP changes.

Conclusions

Although the use of EP monitoring may serve as a sensitive means to diagnose potential neurological injury during anterior spinal surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy, the practitioner must understand that intraoperative EP worsening is not specific—it may not represent clinical worsening and its recognition does not necessarily prevent neurological injury, nor does it result in improved outcome (Class II). Intraoperative improvement in EP parameters/indices does not appear to forecast outcome with reliability (conflicting Class I data).

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Langston T. Holly, Paul G. Matz, Paul A. Anderson, Michael W. Groff, Robert F. Heary, Michael G. Kaiser, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Timothy C. Ryken, Tanvir F. Choudhri, Edward J. Vresilovic and Daniel K. Resnick

Object

The objective of this systematic review was to use evidence-based medicine to identify valid, reliable, and responsive measures of functional outcome after treatment for cervical degenerative disease.

Methods

The National Library of Medicine and Cochrane Database were queried using MeSH headings and key words relevant to functional outcomes. Abstracts were reviewed after which studies meeting inclusion criteria were selected. The guidelines group assembled an evidentiary table summarizing the quality of evidence (Classes I–III). Disagreements regarding the level of evidence were resolved through an expert consensus conference. The group formulated recommendations that contained the degree of strength based on the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines network. Validation was done through peer review by the Joint Guidelines Committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Results

Myelopathy Disability Index, Japanese Orthopaedic Association scale, 36-Item Short Form Health Survey, and gait analysis were found to be valid and reliable measures (Class II) for assessing cervical spondylotic myelopathy. The Patient-Specific Functional Scale, the North American Spine Society scale, and the Neck Disability Index were found to be reliable, valid, and responsive (Class II) for assessing radiculopathy for nonoperative therapy. The Cervical Spine Outcomes Questionnaire was a reliable and valid method (Class II) to assess operative therapy for cervical radiculopathy.

Conclusions

Several functional outcome measures are available to assess cervical spondylotic myelopathy and cervical radiculopathy.

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Paul G. Matz, Langston T. Holly, Michael W. Groff, Edward J. Vresilovic, Paul A. Anderson, Robert F. Heary, Michael G. Kaiser, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Timothy C. Ryken, Tanvir F. Choudhri and Daniel K. Resnick

Object

The objective of this systematic review was to use evidence-based medicine to identify the indications and utility of anterior cervical nerve root decompression.

Methods

The National Library of Medicine and Cochrane Database were queried using MeSH headings and key words relevant to surgical management of cervical radiculopathy. Abstracts were reviewed after which studies meeting inclusion criteria were selected. The guidelines group assembled an evidentiary table summarizing the quality of evidence (Classes I–III). Disagreements regarding the level of evidence were resolved through an expert consensus conference. The group formulated recommendations that contained the degree of strength based on the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines network. Validation was done through peer review by the Joint Guidelines Committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Results

Anterior nerve root decompression via anterior cervical discectomy (ACD) with or without fusion for radiculopathy is associated with rapid relief (3–4 months) of arm/neck pain, weakness, and/or sensory loss compared with physical therapy (PT) or cervical collar immobilization. Anterior cervical discectomy and ACD with fusion (ACDF) are associated with longer term (12 months) improvement in certain motor functions compared to PT. Other rapid gains observed after anterior decompression (diminished pain, improved sensation, and improved strength in certain muscle groups) are also maintained over the course of 12 months. However, comparable clinical improvements with PT or cervical immobilization therapy are also present in these clinical modalities (Class I). Conflicting evidence exists as to the efficacy of anterior cervical foraminotomy with reported success rates of 52–99% but recurrent symptoms as high as 30% (Class III).

Conclusions

Anterior cervical discectomy, ACDF, and anterior cervical foraminotomy may improve cervical radicular symptoms. With regard to ACD and ACDF compared to PT or cervical immobilization, more rapid relief (within 3–4 months) may be seen with ACD or ACDF with maintenance of gains over the course of 12 months (Class I). Anterior cervical foraminotomy is associated with improvement in clinical function but the quality of data are weaker (Class III), and there is a wide range of efficacy (52–99%).