Greater improvement in Neck Disability Index scores in women after surgery for cervical myelopathy: an analysis of the Quality Outcomes Database.



There is a high prevalence of cervical myelopathy that requires surgery; as such, it is important to identify how different groups benefit from surgery. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons launched the Quality Outcomes Database (QOD), a prospective longitudinal registry, that includes demographic, clinical, and patient-reported outcome data to measure the safety and quality of neurosurgical procedures. In this study, the authors assessed the impact of gender on patient-reported outcomes in patients who underwent surgery for cervical myelopathy.


The authors analyzed 1152 patients who underwent surgery for cervical myelopathy and were included in the QOD cervical module. Univariate comparison of baseline patient characteristics between males and females who underwent surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy was performed. Baseline characteristics that significantly differed between males and females were included in a multivariate generalized linear model comparing baseline and 1-year postoperative Neck Disability Index (NDI) scores.


This study included 546 females and 604 males. Females demonstrated significantly greater improvement in NDI score 1 year after surgery (p = 0.036). In addition to gender, the presence of axial neck pain and insurance status were also significantly predictive of improvement in NDI score after surgery (p = 0.0013 and p = 0.0058, respectively).


Females were more likely to benefit from surgery for cervical myelopathy compared with males. It is important to identify gender differences in postoperative outcomes after surgery in order to deliver more personalized and patient-centric care.





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Publication Info

Patel, Arati, Sravani Kondapavulur, Gray Umbach, Andrew K Chan, Vivian P Le, Erica F Bisson, Mohamad Bydon, Dean Chou, et al. (2023). Greater improvement in Neck Disability Index scores in women after surgery for cervical myelopathy: an analysis of the Quality Outcomes Database. Neurosurgical focus, 55(5). p. E7. 10.3171/2023.8.focus23423 Retrieved from

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Christopher Ignatius Shaffrey

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

I have more than 25 years of experience treating patients of all ages with spinal disorders. I have had an interest in the management of spinal disorders since starting my medical education. I performed residencies in both orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery to gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire range of spinal disorders. My goal has been to find innovative ways to manage the range of spinal conditions, straightforward to complex. I have a focus on managing patients with complex spinal disorders. My patient evaluation and management philosophy is to provide engaged, compassionate care that focuses on providing the simplest and least aggressive treatment option for a particular condition. In many cases, non-operative treatment options exist to improve a patient’s symptoms. I have been actively engaged in clinical research to find the best ways to manage spinal disorders in order to achieve better results with fewer complications.

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