What are the risk factors for cervical spondylosis?

Updated: Nov 09, 2018
  • Author: Sandeep S Rana, MD; Chief Editor: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS  more...
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In addition to age and possibly sex, several risk factors have been proposed for cervical spondylosis.

Repeated occupational trauma (eg, carrying axial loads, professional dancing, gymnastics) may contribute. The role of occupational trauma is controversial, especially in terms of worker's compensation claims and other related medicolegal clauses.

Familial cases have been reported; a genetic cause is possible.

Smoking also may be a risk factor.

Conditions that contribute to segmental instability and excessive segmental motion (eg, congenitally fused spine, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome) may be risk factors for spondylotic disease. Cervical spondylotic myelopathy may be responsible for functional declines in patients with athetoid cerebral palsy.

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