Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy:Surgical Treatment Options - OrthoInfo - AAOS (2023)

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This article provides information on surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy. For more general information: Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy (Spinal Cord Compression)

When symptoms of cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) persist or worsen despite nonsurgical treatment, your doctor may recommend surgery.

The goal of surgery is to relieve symptoms by decompressing, or relieving pressure on, the spinal cord. This involves removing the pieces of bone or soft tissue (such as a herniated disk or thickened ligament) that may be taking up space in the spinal canal. This relieves pressure by creating more space for the spinal cord.

Candidates for Surgery

Candidates for surgery include patients who have progressive neurologic changes with signs of severe spinal cord compression or spinal cord swelling. These neurologic changes may include:

  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Numbness in the hands
  • Fine motor skill difficulties
  • Imbalance issues
  • Gait changes

Patients with severe or disabling pain may also be helped with surgery.

Patients who experience better outcomes from cervical spine surgery often have these characteristics:

  • Younger age
  • Shorter duration of symptoms
  • Single, rather than multiple, areas of spinal cord involvement
  • A larger area available for the spinal cord

Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy:Surgical Treatment Options - OrthoInfo - AAOS (3)

This magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan shows herniated disks pressing on the spinal cord (red arrows), a common cause of CSM.

Reproduced from Boyce R, Wang J: Evaluation of neck pain, radiculopathy and myelopathy: imaging, conservative treatment, and surgical indications. Instructional Course Lectures 52. Rosemont, IL, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2003, pp.489-495.

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Treatment Spinal Fusion

Surgical Procedures

The surgical procedures commonly performed to treat CSM are:

  • Anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion
  • Anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion
  • Anterior cervical diskectomy and disk replacement
  • Laminectomy and fusion
  • Laminoplasty

The procedure your doctor recommends will depend on a number of factors, including your overall health and the type and location of your problem. Studies have not shown one approach to be etter than another. Surgery should be individualized.

Depending on the procedure, surgery for CSM is performed either from the front of the neck (anterior) or the back (posterior). In some cases, both anterior and posterior approaches may be necessary to address spinal cord compression and instability. Each approach has advantages and disadvantages, as shown in the table below. Your doctor will talk with you about which approach is best in your case and about the risks and benefits of surgery.

Spinal Fusion

Whether an anterior or posterior approach is used, procedures for CSM often include spinal fusion to help stabilize the spine. Spinal fusion is essentially a welding process. The basic idea is to fuse together the vertebrae so that they heal into a single, solid bone.

Fusion eliminates motion between the degenerated vertebrae and takes away some spinal flexibility. The theory is that if the painful spine segments do not move, they should not hurt. Also, degeneration occurs only when there is motion, so by eliminating motion, more degeneration does not occur. The degree of limitation that you experience will depend upon how many spine segments, or levels, of your spine were fused.

All spinal fusions use some type of bone material, called a bone graft, to help promote the fusion. The small pieces of bone are placed where disk or bone has been removed. Sometimes larger, solid pieces are used to provide immediate structural support to the vertebrae.

In some cases, the doctor may implant a spacer or synthetic cage between the two adjoining vertebrae. This cage usually contains bone graft material to allow a spinal fusion to occur between the two vertebrae.

After the bone graft is placed or the cage is inserted, your doctor will use metal screws, plates, and rods to increase the rate of fusion and further stabilize the spine.

Bone graft sources.Bone graft material is used to fill in the space left after a disk is removed. It is also placed along the sides of the vertebrae to assist the fusion. A bone graft is primarily used to stimulate bone healing. It increases bone production and helps the vertebrae heal together into a solid bone.

The bone graft will come from either your own bone (autograft) or from a donor (allograft). If an autograft is used, the bone is usually taken from your hip area, but if only a small amount is used, your doctor may be able to use the bone spurs removed from your neck as the autograft. The bone is essentially recycled; it is moved from an area where it is no longer needed to the area that the surgeon wants to fuse. Your doctor will talk to you about the advantages and disadvantages of using an autograft vs. an allograt, as well as traditional bone grafts versus a cage.

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Most autografts are harvested from the iliac crest of the hip.

Anterior Approach

An anterior approach means that the doctor will approach your neck from the front. They will operate through a 1- to 2-inch incision along the neck crease. The exact location and length of your incision may vary depending on your specific condition.

Anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion. During this procedure, your doctor will remove the problematic disk and any additional bone spurs, if necessary, then stabilize the spine through spinal fusion. Typically, a plate with screws is added to the front of the spine for added stability.

Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy:Surgical Treatment Options - OrthoInfo - AAOS (5)

An anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion from the side (left) and front (right). Plates and screws are used to provide stability and increase the rate of fusion.

Anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion. This procedure is similar to diskectomy, except that instead of only the disk, more bone (one or more of the vertebrae) is also removed because the compression is cauesd by a significant bone spur. The difference between a corpectomy and diskectomy is the extent of bony removal. As in diskectomy, the spine is then stabilized through spinal fusion.

In some cases, both the disk and bone may be pressing on the spinal cord. In this situation, your doctor may perform a combination of diskectomy and corpectomy.

Anterior cervical diskectomy and disk replacement. During this procedure, your doctor will remove the problematic disk and any additional bone spurs, if necessary, just as in the anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion. Instead of placing bone, cages, plates, and screws, an artificial disk can be placed to preserve motion. Not every patient is a candidate for a disk replacement.

Posterior Approach

A posterior approach means that the doctor will approach your neck from the back. They will make an incision along the midline of the back of the neck. Posterior approaches for decompression include laminectomy (typically with a posterior fusion) and laminoplasty. These procedures are often also accompanied by spinal fusion.

Laminectomy. In this procedure, the doctor removes the bony arch that forms the backside of the spinal canal (lamina), along with any bone spurs and ligaments that are compressing the spinal cord. Laminectomy relieves pressure on the spinal cord by providing extra space for it to drift backward.

Although laminectomy ensures complete decompression of the spinal cord, the procedure makes the bones less stable. For this reason, patients who undergo laminectomy frequently require spinal fusion with a bone graft and possibly screws and rods.

Posterior laminectomy is often recommended for people who have very small spinal canals, enlarged or swollen soft tissues at the back of the spine, or problems in more than four spine segments (levels). In a patient with a kyphotic (bent forward) spine, the spinal cord will not float or shift backward — so the doctor will often use a combined posterior and anterior approach to ensure the best outcome.

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A posterior laminectomy and fusion from the front (left) and side (right).

Laminoplasty. In this alternative to laminectomy, instead of removing the bone, the lamina is thinned out on one side and then cut on the other side to create a hinge — much like a door. Using the hinge to open this bony area expands the space available for the spinal cord. It also allows the doctor to address adjacent spine segments, or levels, that may be mildly compressed.

Laminoplasty preserves from 30 to 50% of motion at the involved levels of the spine. This is a greater percentage than either laminectomy or anterior surgery. Since neck pain is often related to motion — and some motion still remains after the procedure — patients may still have neck pain after laminoplasty.

Another disadvantage is that, in some cases, the lamina that is hinged can inadvertently close.

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(Left) This MRI scan shows both anterior and posterior spinal cord compression (arrows). (Right) An MRI scan of the same patient after laminoplasty shows increased space in the spinal canal.

Reproduced from Cornett CA, Braly BA, Kang J, Donaldson, WF: Laminectomy and fusion and laminoplasty: indications and techniques. Orthopaedic Knowledge Online Journal 2012; 10(1). Accessed July 2015.

Combined Approach

Some patients will require combined anterior and posterior approaches to ensure the best outcome. This includes patients who have:

  • Fixed or severe kyphosis (abnormal forward cervical spine curvature)
  • Severe osteoporosis that has weakened the bone
  • Multiple levels of involvement requiring supplemental stabilization
Anterior Approach
  • Good relief of neck pain
  • Spine is stabilized with fusion
  • Restores alignment of the spine
  • Direct removal of problem structures
  • Anterior approach complications (difficulty breathing, injury to esophagus
  • Bone graft complications
  • Loss of motion
  • Swallowing difficulty or hoarseness
Posterior Approach
  • Less motion loss (laminoplasty)
  • May address more spine levels
  • Avoids bone graft complications
  • Wound complications
  • Inadequete decompression possible
  • Cannot be used for kyphotic spines
  • Late instability or deformity (laminoplasty)
  • Inconsistent relief of neck pain (laminoplasty)


As with any surgery, there are risks associated with cervical spine surgery. Possible complications can be related to the approach used, the bone graft, healing, or long-term changes. In general, higher rates of complications from surgery are found in:

  • Elderly patients
  • Patients who are overweight
  • Smokers
  • Patients with diabetes
  • Patients with multiple medical problems

Before your surgery, your doctor will discuss each of the risks with you and will take specific measures to help avoid potential complications.

General Risks

The potential risks and complications for any cervical spine surgery include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Reaction to anesthesia
  • The need for additional surgery in the future
  • Failure to relieve symptoms
  • Tear of the sac covering the nerves (dural tear)
  • Life-threatening medical problems, such as heart attack, lung complications, or stroke

Anterior Cervical Spine Surgery Risks

The potential risks and complications of anterior cervical spine surgery include:

  • Soreness or difficulty with swallowing
  • Voice changes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Injury to the esophagus
  • Degeneration of disk levels above or below the surgery level

Additional risks and complications of anterior cervical diskectomy and spinal fusion include:

  • Misplaced, broken, or loosened plates and screws
  • Complications relating to the bone graft, including hip pain (if an autograft is used), dislodgement, fracture, or severe settling
  • Nonunion of the spinal fusion (failure of the bone graft to heal)

Posterior Cervical Spine Surgery Risks

The potential risks and complications of posterior cervical spine surgery include:

  • Degeneration of disk levels above or below surgery level
  • Injury to the vertebral artery
  • Stretch on the nerves from the spinal cord drifting backwards
  • Wound breakdown
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After surgery, you will typically stay in the hospital for 1 or 2 days. This will vary, however, depending on the type of surgery you have had and how many disk levels were involved. Most patients are able to walk and eat on the first day after surgery.

Depending on the procedure you have had, a drain may be placed in your spine to collect any fluid or blood that may remain after surgery.

It is normal to have difficulty swallowing solid foods for a few weeks or have some hoarseness following anterior cervical spine surgery. For this reason, your doctor may prescribe antacids or recommend that your diet include softer foods, such as soup or milkshakes, in the early postoperative period.

You may need to wear a soft or a rigid collar at first. How long you should wear it will depend on the type of surgery you have had.

Discharge Instructions

When you are discharged, your doctor will give you specific instructions to follow at home. These instructions will vary depending on the type of procedure you have had. Discharge instructions after surgery may include:

  • You may spend unlimited amounts of time walking or sitting in a chair.
  • Contact your doctor if you see signs of infection. Signs of infection include:
    • Persistent fever (higher than 101.5 degrees)
    • Shaking chills
    • Increased redness, tenderness, or swelling of your wound
    • Drainage from your wound
    • Increasing pain with both activity and rest
  • Your staples or sutures can be removed at the follow-up office visit around 2 weeks after surgery.
  • Do not take anti-inflammatory medication for six weeks following surgery.
  • Do not lift anything greater than 10 to 15 lbs.
  • Do not drive a car until cleared by your doctor.

After spinal fusion, it may take 6 to 12 months for the bone to become solid. For this reason, your doctor may give you additional restrictions to follow. For example, right after your operation, your doctor may recommend only light activity, like walking. As you regain your strength, you will be able to slowly increase your activity level.

New Symptoms

Depending on the extent of your surgery and the number of spine levels fused, you may notice some neck stiffness or loss of motion after your procedure. Also, as nerves begin to awaken following surgery, you may experience different nerve symptoms or feelings than you had before. This is normal and will often continue to improve for 1 to 2 years after surgery.

If your nerve symptoms and pain get progressively worse, or if you have any problems with infection or wound healing, contact your doctor.

Physical Therapy

Usually by 4 to 6 weeks, you can gradually begin to do range-of-motion and strengthening exercises. Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy during the recovery period to help you regain full function.

Return to Work

Most people are able to return to a desk job within a few days to a few weeks after surgery. They may be able to return to full activities by 3 to 4 months, depending on the procedure. For some people, healing may take longer.


Regardless of the approach used, the desired outcome of surgery is to stabilize the spine and prevent neurologic problems from worsening. A secondary goal is to potentially improve neck pain — as well as the motor, sensory, and other neurological symptoms that may be present. The goal of surgery is not necessarily to restore normal function.

Outcomes will vary from patient to patient. Typically, with respect to pre-surgical symptoms, one-third of patients improve, one-third stay the same, and one-third continue to worsen over time. In most cases, the symptoms you experienced before surgery will be similar to the symptoms you will have following surgical intervention. Your doctor will discuss this with you and provide information on the likelihood of improvement in your specific situation.


What kind of surgery is done for cervical myelopathy? ›

Cervical myelopathy is best treated with spine decompression surgery.

What is the best treatment for cervical spondylosis surgery? ›

The surgical procedures commonly performed to treat CSM are: Anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion. Anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion. Anterior cervical diskectomy and disk replacement.

Can cervical myelopathy be fixed with surgery? ›

Most experts feel that surgery can prevent the progression of spinal cord dysfunction and can, in many cases, improve the symptoms of cervical spondylotic myelopathy.

What is the treatment for cervical spondylotic myelopathy? ›

The primary treatment of cervical spondylotic myelopathy is to decompress the spinal cord (remove the pressure from it). The surgery is performed to prevent the progression of symptoms. In other words, the goal of surgery is simply to prevent symptoms from getting any worse.

How painful is cervical myelopathy surgery? ›

You can expect your neck to feel stiff or sore after surgery. In the weeks after your surgery, it may be hard for you to sit or stand in one position for very long. You may need pain medicine. It will probably take 4 to 6 weeks to get back to doing your usual activities.

How long does it take to recover from neck surgery c3 c4 C5 C6 C7? ›

Typically, patients make a full recovery within two to six weeks.

What is the success rate of spondylolysis surgery? ›

Spinal fusion surgery for a degenerative spondylolisthesis is generally quite successful, with upwards of 90% of patients improving their function and enjoying a substantial decrease in their pain.

Can cervical myelopathy get worse after surgery? ›

"If surgery doesn't optimally position the spinal cord, the patient can have ongoing and worsening symptoms of myelopathy."

What are the indications for surgery in cervical spondylosis? ›

Indications for surgery include intractable pain, progressive neurologic deficits, and documented compression of nerve roots or of the spinal cord that leads to progressive symptoms. Surgery has not been proven to help neck pain and/or suboccipital pain. Several approaches to the cervical spine have been proposed.

What is the success rate of cervical spondylotic myelopathy surgery? ›

This surgery has a high success rate. Between 93 to 100 percent of people who've had ACDF surgery for arm pain reported relief from pain, and 73 to 83 percent of people who had ACDF surgery for neck pain reported positive results.

When is surgery recommended for cervical spondylosis? ›

Treatment from a GP

It usually takes a few weeks for treatment to work, although the pain and stiffness can come back. Surgery is only considered if: a nerve is being pinched by a slipped disc or bone (cervical radiculopathy) there's a problem with your spinal cord (cervical myelopathy)

How long is surgery for cervical myelopathy? ›

The surgery will take about 1 to 2 hours. If you have a spinal fusion at the same time, the surgery will take a little longer. When you wake up, you will be lying flat on your back.

What is the best treatment for myelopathy? ›

Myelopathy is a disorder that results from severe compression of the spinal cord. The only way to treat the compression of the spinal cord is through decompression surgery.

How long does it take to recover from cervical spondylosis surgery? ›

You will begin to feel yourself after 2 to 3 weeks and improve over the following weeks. You should tell your employer you will be out of work for approximately 8 to 12 weeks but may be able to return earlier than that. Walking is the best activity you can do for the first 6 weeks after surgery.

When is neck surgery necessary? ›

It's used in situations where an area of the neck is unstable, or when motion at the affected area causes pain. A cervical spinal fusion may be performed for very severe cervical fractures. It may also be recommended as part of a surgical treatment for a pinched nerve or compressed spinal cord.

How long do you stay in the hospital after cervical surgery? ›

Most patients will remain in the hospital for one to two days. The surgical site in your neck will be sore for a few days. You will be encouraged to walk as soon as you are able as this will help speed your recovery. You may need to wear a soft or rigid collar for four to six weeks.

Is cervical spine surgery high risk? ›

Low Risk, But Complications Exist

The success rate of cervical spine surgery is very high, but complications have been reported. “The take away is that most of the complications were very rare, some were almost nonexistent,” Buser and Wang said.

What is the success rate of C1 C2 fusion? ›

Using a poliaxial screw in the C1 latereal mass and C2 pedicle Bourdillon demonstrated 85% of the screws were correctly positioned and resulted in a 100% fusion rate in a study group of 26 patients (4). Other studies have demonstrated fusion rates as low as 35-40% (5a).

How long do you need to wear collar after cervical neck surgery? ›

2) You will wear a cervical collar for at least 4 weeks post-operatively. This should be worn at all times (including in bed) but may be removed for showering.

How much rest is required after neck surgery? ›

It will take between 4 and 6 weeks before light work can be accomplished, while full recovery usually takes between 2 and 3 months. If necessary your doctor may suggest physical therapy sessions to aid recovery.

What not to do after cervical spine surgery? ›

Avoid strenuous activities, such as bicycle riding, jogging, weightlifting, or aerobic exercise, until your doctor says it is okay. Do not drive for 2 to 4 weeks after your surgery or until your doctor says it is okay. Avoid taking long car trips for 2 to 4 weeks after surgery.

What is the success rate of minimally invasive spine surgery? ›

On average, the success rate for minimally invasive spine surgery is over 90%. While this is slightly lower than the average success rate of open spinal surgery (95%), many will agree that, when combined with all of its benefits, the minimally invasive approach is the highly preferable option.

How long are you in the hospital after spondylolisthesis surgery? ›

Most people remain in the hospital for one or more days so doctors and nurses can monitor the spine while it begins to heal. In the days immediately after surgery, pain management specialists ensure that you have the medication you need to remain comfortable while you recover.

How do you permanently treat cervical spondylosis? ›

Osteoarthritis, including cervical spondylosis, has no cure, but it can be managed in a number of ways. Most doctors opt for a conservative approach before resorting to surgery, since nonoperative treatments can often relieve symptoms.

Is surgery necessary for cervical myelopathy? ›

Cervical Myelopathy Treatment

You may benefit from nonsurgical treatment options such as physical therapy or a cervical collar brace; however, to eliminate compression of the spinal cord and to prevent worsening of the condition, surgery is often warranted.

How much does cervical myelopathy surgery cost? ›

CONCLUSIONS. The surgical treatment of cervical myelopathy leads to a substantial upfront cost of $26,290, however, the total cost to the health care system after 3 years is similar for patients treated operatively and nonoperatively.

Who is a candidate for neck surgery? ›


When conservative care such as rest and physical therapy does not relieve the pain or the other symptoms associated with a deteriorated cervical disc, you may be a candidate for neck surgery.

Which DR is best for cervical spondylosis? ›

24 Best Doctors for Cervical Spondylosis Treatment in Bangalore
  • Dr. Nanda Kumar Bhairi. ...
  • Dr. Yogesh Pithwa. ...
  • Dr. Prasanna T Y. ...
  • Dr. K Kartik Revanappa. ...
  • Dr. Abhilash Bansal. Spine And Pain Specialist. ...
  • Dr. V Arun. Pain Management Specialist. ...
  • Dr. Rahul Puri. Spine And Pain Specialist. ...
  • Dr. Shrinidhi I S. Spine And Pain Specialist.

Who is a candidate for ACDF surgery? ›

Candidates for ACDF are those with worsening pain, weakness or instability in the neck, shoulder, arms or hands from a herniated disc or cervical degenerative disc disease. It is important that each patient is carefully screened by a qualified surgeon to determine the most appropriate treatment.

Can you become paralyzed after ACDF surgery? ›

Paralysis is the most feared postoperative complication of ACDF and occurs most often due to an epidural hematoma. In the absence of a clear etiology, inadequate decompression or vascular insult such as ischemia/reperfusion injury are the usual suspects.

Is cervical spine surgery considered major surgery? ›

ACDF surgery is a major procedure, and you will need to take it easy during your recovery. However, if you are unable to do daily activities within 4-6 weeks of your appointment, you should see your surgeon right away.

How serious is cervical neck surgery? ›

Neck surgery is no more dangerous or risky than any other surgery. With precision instruments and an enormous amount of hands-on experience, your surgeon will work with pinpoint accuracy. Innovative equipment also allows the surgeon and support team to recognize when nerves may be compromised.

How can I avoid neck surgery? ›

Healthy eating, good sleep, regular exercise, and social support may help reduce stress and alleviate painful symptoms in some people. Quitting smoking can also be beneficial. In fact, smoking increases the risk for spinal surgery to fail, which is why many surgeons refuse to operate on smokers.

What is the most common cervical spine surgery? ›

The Operation. One of the most common surgical procedures for problems in the cervical spine is an anterior cervical discectomy. The term "discectomy" means "remove the disc". A discectomy relieves the pressure on a nerve root by removing the herniated disc causing the pressure on the nerve root.

What is the recovery time for c5 c6 neck surgery? ›

The recovery process following surgery for cervical disc herniation usually lasts between four to six weeks.

Is cervical neck surgery painful? ›

Symptoms. Some amount of neck discomfort, soreness, tenderness, and swelling is normal after a spinal fusion procedure. Additionally, you may feel some discomfort in your upper back and shoulders as your body adjusts to the altered biomechanics created by the fusion.

What are the complications of cervical myelopathy surgery? ›

Although generally safe and effective, surgery is associated with a complication rate of 14.1% (95% CI 10.1%–18.2%). Specific types of complications include C-5 palsy (1.9%, 95% CI 1.4%–2.4%), wound infection (1.5%, 95% CI 1.0%–2.1%), dural tear (1.4%, 95% CI 0.8%–1.9%), and dysphagia (2.2%, 95% CI 1.4%–3.0%).

How do you decompress cervical myelopathy? ›

Background: Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM), also known as cervical spondylotic myelopathy is the leading cause of spinal cord compression in adults. The mainstay of treatment is surgical decompression, which leads to partial recovery of symptoms, however, long term prognosis of the condition remains poor.

What are permanent restrictions after cervical spinal fusion? ›

The spinal fusion procedure permanently fuses the targeted vertebrae of the spine. This process also permanently eliminates all motion at the affected segment. So, patients do experience permanent restrictions on their mobility, such as an inability to twist, bend, and lift heavy objects.

Can you move your neck after cervical fusion? ›

Unless your doctor gives a specific reason for limiting your range of motion after surgery, they will work diligently to protect the surrounding vertebrae and ensure that you are still able to move your head and neck freely.

When is surgery needed for C5 C6? ›

Treatment of the C5-C6 spinal motion segment typically begins with nonsurgical methods. In cases where the neck pain and other symptoms do not improve with nonsurgical treatments, or if the health of a nerve root or the spinal cord worsens, surgery may be considered.

How long does cervical myelopathy surgery take? ›

The surgery will take about 1 to 2 hours. If you have a spinal fusion at the same time, the surgery will take a little longer.

Is myelopathy worse after surgery? ›

"If surgery doesn't optimally position the spinal cord, the patient can have ongoing and worsening symptoms of myelopathy."

What is the success rate of cervical surgery? ›

2. Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement Has Superior Results to Cervical Spine Fusion Surgery. Patients who received a two-level cervical artificial disc had a clinically superior success rate of 60.8% versus 34.6% patients who underwent a cervical spine fusion or anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF).

How long are you in the hospital after cervical spine surgery? ›

Most patients will remain in the hospital for one to two days. The surgical site in your neck will be sore for a few days. You will be encouraged to walk as soon as you are able as this will help speed your recovery. You may need to wear a soft or rigid collar for four to six weeks.

Can you walk after cervical spine surgery? ›

Walking is the best activity you can do for the first 6 weeks after surgery. You should start out slowly and work up to walking 30 minutes at least twice a day.

When should you consider cervical spine surgery? ›

Cervical Spine Surgery: Goals and Techniques. If cervical degeneration causes myelopathy (spinal cord dysfunction), radiculopathy (dysfunction of nerves to the neck or arms), neck pain, or abnormal neck motion, surgery may be necessary. The surgical goal is to reduce pain and restore spinal stability.

Who is not a candidate for spine surgery? ›

Therefore, at SOS, patients who have a BMI of greater than 40 are not eligible to receive elective spinal surgery. Here's another area where you can control the process.

Is spinal surgery a high risk surgery? ›

No. Sometimes, problems occur that are out of your control. But remember: Spine surgery complications are rare. Most people have good long-term outcomes after spine surgery.

What is the success rate of spondylosis surgery? ›

Spinal fusion surgery for a degenerative spondylolisthesis is generally quite successful, with upwards of 90% of patients improving their function and enjoying a substantial decrease in their pain.

What are non surgical options for cervical myelopathy? ›

Non-Operative Management

This is an option for people with mild DCM or spinal cord compression without myelopathy [1]. Non-surgical management options include bracing, analgesia, therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, bed rest and avoidance of high-risk activities and environments [2].

Can you get paralyzed from cervical myelopathy? ›

Cervical myelopathy is a serious condition affecting the cervical spine, and if left untreated it can lead to significant and permanent nerve damage including paralysis and death. In most cases, this is an urgent surgical condition. Myelopathy describes any neurologic symptoms related to dysfunction of the spinal cord.

What is the life expectancy of cervical myelopathy? ›

Conclusion: The patients who underwent cervical laminoplasty caused by compression myelopathy due to CS and OPLL had a long life expectancy, averaging more than 13 years. Life expectancy did not differ between patients with CS and patients with OPLL. Neurological deficit did not directly affect the life expectancy.

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