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Cervical spondylotic myelopathy: a cause of gait disturbance and falls in the elderly.

Authors
  • Swagerty, D L Jr
Type
Published Article
Journal
Kansas medicine : the journal of the Kansas Medical Society
Publication Date
Oct 01, 1994
Volume
95
Issue
10
Identifiers
PMID: 7815775
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Cervical spondylosis is a very common disorder in the elderly that leads to osteophyte formation and degenerative disc disease. Compression of the cervical cord and nerve roots can occur in a small number of patients, often dependent upon a congenitally narrow canal. Cord compression produces progressive spastic paraparesis, frequently asymmetric, and often accompanied by paresthesias and sensory loss in the feet and hands. The course is quite variable. Often, symptoms are mild and do not progress. Such cases are best treated conservatively with a cervical collar and physical therapy. Elderly patients often experience progression of symptoms and more serious neurologic impairment. Surgery should be recommended to arrest progression of myelopathic symptoms in patients whose general condition is satisfactory.

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