What predicts the best 24-month outcomes following surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy? A QOD prospective registry study.


The aim of this study was to identify predictors of the best 24-month improvements in patients undergoing surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM). For this purpose, the authors leveraged a large prospective cohort of surgically treated patients with CSM to identify factors predicting the best outcomes for disability, quality of life, and functional status following surgery. This was a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data. The Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) CSM dataset (1141 patients) at 14 top enrolling sites was used. Baseline and surgical characteristics were compared for those reporting the top and bottom 20th percentile 24-month Neck Disability Index (NDI), EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D), and modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) change scores. A multivariable logistic model was constructed and included candidate variables reaching p ≤ 0.20 on univariate analyses. Least important variables were removed in a stepwise manner to determine the significant predictors of the best outcomes (top 20th percentile) for 24-month NDI, EQ-5D, and mJOA change. A total of 948 (83.1%) patients with 24-month follow-up were included in this study. For NDI, 204 (17.9%) had the best NDI outcome and 200 (17.5%) had the worst NDI outcome. Factors predicting the best NDI outcomes included symptom duration less than 12 months (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1-1.9; p = 0.01); procedure other than posterior fusion (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.03-2.1; p = 0.03); higher preoperative visual analog scale neck pain score (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1-1.3; p < 0.001); and higher baseline NDI (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.05-1.07; p < 0.001). For EQ-5D, 163 (14.3%) had the best EQ-5D outcome and 169 (14.8%) had the worst EQ-5D outcome. Factors predicting the best EQ-5D outcomes included arm pain-only complaints (compared to neck pain) (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.3-2.9; p = 0.002) and lower baseline EQ-5D (OR 167.7 per unit lower, 95% CI 85.0-339.4; p < 0.001). For mJOA, 222 (19.5%) had the best mJOA outcome and 238 (20.9%) had the worst mJOA outcome. Factors predicting the best mJOA outcomes included lower BMI (OR 1.03 per unit lower, 95% CI 1.004-1.05; p = 0.02; cutoff value of ≤ 29.5 kg/m2); arm pain-only complaints (compared to neck pain) (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1-2.5; p = 0.02); and lower baseline mJOA (OR 1.6 per unit lower, 95% CI 1.5-1.7; p < 0.001). Compared to the worst outcomes for EQ-5D, the best outcomes were associated with patients with arm pain-only complaints. For mJOA, lower BMI and arm pain-only complaints portended the best outcomes. For NDI, those with the best outcomes had shorter symptom durations, higher preoperative neck pain scores, and less often underwent posterior spinal fusions. Given the positive impact of shorter symptom duration on outcomes, these data suggest that early surgery may be beneficial for patients with CSM.





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Publication Info

Chan, Andrew K, Christine Park, Christopher I Shaffrey, Oren N Gottfried, Khoi D Than, Erica F Bisson, Mohamad Bydon, Anthony L Asher, et al. (2024). What predicts the best 24-month outcomes following surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy? A QOD prospective registry study. Journal of neurosurgery. Spine. pp. 1–12. 10.3171/2023.11.spine23222 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/29922.

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Oren N Gottfried

Professor of Neurosurgery

I specialize in the surgical management of all complex cervical, thoracic, lumbar, or sacral spinal diseases by using minimally invasive as well as standard approaches for arthritis or degenerative disease, deformity, tumors, and trauma. I have a special interest in the treatment of thoracolumbar deformities, occipital-cervical problems, and in helping patients with complex spinal issues from previously unsuccessful surgery or recurrent disease.I listen to my patients to understand their symptoms and experiences so I can provide them with the information and education they need to manage their disease. I make sure my patients understand their treatment options, and what will work best for their individual condition. I treat all my patients with care and concern – just as I would treat my family. I am available to address my patients' concerns before and after surgery.  I aim to improve surgical outcomes for my patients and care of all spine patients with active research evaluating clinical and radiological results after spine surgery with multiple prospective databases. I am particularly interested in prevention of spinal deformity, infections, complications, and recurrent spinal disease. Also, I study whether patient specific variables including pelvic/sacral anatomy and sagittal spinal balance predict complications from spine surgery.


Khoi Duc Than

Professor of Neurosurgery

I chose to pursue neurosurgery as a career because of my fascination with the human nervous system. In medical school, I developed a keen interest in the diseases that afflict the brain and spine and gravitated towards the only field where I could help treat these diseases with my own hands. I focus on disorders of the spine where my first goal is to help patients avoid surgery if at all possible. If surgery is needed, I treat patients using the most advanced minimally invasive techniques available in order to minimize pain, blood loss, and hospital stay, while maximizing recovery, neurologic function, and quality of life. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am an avid sports fan and love to eat. I try to stay physically fit by going to the gym and playing ice hockey.

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