Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy and Radiculopathy
Treatment Approaches and Options
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This text is intended to serve as a comprehensive, up-to-date resource for clinicians involved in the management of patients with cervical degenerative disease. The text is divided into sections, organized in a clinically strategic manner. The initial chapters address the basics of cervical spine anatomy and biomechanics as well as the pathophysiology leading to various cervical degenerative disorders and the possible neurological sequelae. Subsequent chapters outline characteristics of the clinical presentation and the various diagnostic modalities to evaluate these patients. Key elements involved in the surgical-decision making process are covered, providing the necessary elements to establish a solid foundation for treatment planning. The final sections discusses specific procedures; including traditional approaches as well as more recent developments such as motion preservation surgery and minimally invasive techniques. The last section focuses on challenging clinical scenarios that require advanced surgical consideration. Individual chapters are organized with an introductory outline containing key chapter elements. Chapters focusing on specific pathological entities include discussions regarding pathophysiology, genetics, and risk factors. Those describing surgical procedures include a discussion on indications/contraindications, pre-operative planning, surgical technique, post-operative care, and complication avoidance. Chapter authors present their personal experience enhancing the information from current, evidence-based, referenced material. When appropriate, case presentations are added to provide a practical application of chapter's key points.
This text, based on relevant, up-to-date clinical information and the cumulative experience of current spine experts, offers physicians the necessary tools involved in the decision-making process to formulate the optimal treatment plan for an individual patient. In addition, identification of knowledge gaps will hopefully stimulate future research and the evolution of cervical spondylotic treatments.