Differences in postoperative quality of life in young, early elderly, and late elderly patients undergoing surgical treatment for degenerative cervical myelopathy.



Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is a common progressive spine disorder affecting predominantly middle-aged and elderly populations. With increasing life expectancy, the incidence of CSM is expected to rise further. The outcomes of elderly patients undergoing CSM surgery and especially their quality of life (QOL) postoperatively remain undetermined. This study retrospectively reviewed patients to identify baseline differences and validated postoperative patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures in elderly patients undergoing CSM surgery.


The multi-institutional, neurosurgery-specific NeuroPoint Quality Outcomes Database was queried to identify CSM patients treated surgically at the 14 highest-volume sites from January 2016 to December 2018. Patients were divided into three groups: young (< 65 years), early elderly (65-74 years), and late elderly (≥ 75 years). Demographic and PRO measures (Neck Disability Index [NDI] score, modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association [mJOA] score, EQ-5D score, EQ-5D visual analog scale [VAS] score, arm pain VAS, and neck pain VAS) were compared among the groups at baseline and 3 and 12 months postoperatively.


A total of 1151 patients were identified: 691 patients (60%) in the young, 331 patients (28.7%) in the early elderly, and 129 patients (11.2%) in the late elderly groups. At baseline, younger patients presented with worse NDI scores (p < 0.001) and lower EQ-5D VAS (p = 0.004) and EQ-5D (p < 0.001) scores compared with early and late elderly patients. No differences among age groups were found in the mJOA score. An improvement of all QOL scores was noted in all age groups. On unadjusted analysis at 3 months, younger patients had greater improvement in arm pain VAS, NDI, and EQ-5D VAS compared with early and late elderly patients. At 12 months, the same changes were seen, but on adjusted analysis, there were no differences in PROs between the age groups.


The authors' results indicate that elderly patients undergoing CSM surgery achieved QOL outcomes that were equivalent to those of younger patients at the 12-month follow-up.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Croci, Davide M, Brandon Sherrod, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Praveen V Mummaneni, Andrew K Chan, Mohamad Bydon, Steven D Glassman, Kevin T Foley, et al. (2022). Differences in postoperative quality of life in young, early elderly, and late elderly patients undergoing surgical treatment for degenerative cervical myelopathy. Journal of neurosurgery. Spine, 37(3). pp. 1–11. 10.3171/2022.1.spine211157 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/28034.

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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.


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.

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