When is the anterior surgical approach indicated for cervical spondylotic myelopathy?

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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Answer

The anterior approach is advocated for cervical spondylotic myelopathy when identifiable anterior compression or kyphotic deformity is present. This approach is more frequently used in the United States because ventral compression is more common. Myelopathy due to osteophytes confined to 1-2 levels is treated using ACD and fusion with removal of the osteophytes. In severe cases, extensive decompression is performed using multilevel vertebrectomies (corpectomy) and reconstruction with bone graft and instrumentation. Recent series have reported clinical improvement rates ranging from 80-94%. [50, 51] Neither the anterior nor posterior approach has been demonstrated superior to the other, provided the appropriate procedure is performed for the proper clinical indication. [2, 52, 46]


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