Journal Article Age-Related and Degenerative Changes in the Osseous Anatomy, Alignment, and Range of Motion of the Cervical Spine: A Comparative Study of Radiographic Data From 1016 Patients With Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy and 1230 Asymptomatic Subjects

Machino, Masaaki  ,  Yukawa, Yasutsugu  ,  Imagama, Shiro  ,  Ito, Keigo  ,  Katayama, Yoshito  ,  Matsumoto, Tomohiro  ,  Inoue, Taro  ,  Ouchida, Jun  ,  Tomita, Keisuke  ,  Ishiguro, Naoki  ,  Kato, Fumihiko

41 ( 6 )  , pp.476 - 482 , 2016-03 , Wolters Kluwer Health
STUDY DESIGN: A prospective comparative study. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to establish cervical spine morphometry, alignment, and range of motion (ROM) and to clarify the impact of these age-related and degenerative changes. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: There are no studies that have evaluated differences in the results of cervical spine radiographs between a large series of cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) patients and healthy subjects. METHODS: We enrolled 1016 consecutive CSM patients who underwent laminoplasty. CSM patients were also divided based on each decade of life between the fourth and ninth decades. We also enrolled a total of 1230 healthy volunteers as asymptomatic subjects in this study. There were at least 100 men and 100 women in each decade of life between the third and eighth decades. Cervical sagittal alignment on neutral and flexion-extension views was measured by the Cobb method at C2-7. ROM was assessed by measuring the difference in alignment between flexion and extension. RESULTS: Cervical lordosis in the neutral position increased gradually with age in both groups. CSM patients showed significantly smaller lordotic angles compared with those shown by asymptomatic subjects within each decade. The total ROM decreased with increasing age in both groups. The total ROM of females was larger than males. The ROM of CSM patients was significantly smaller than asymptomatic subjects. The flexion ROM did not change with aging in either group. There was no significant difference in the flexion ROM between males and females in the two groups. However, the extension ROM decreased gradually in both groups. The extension ROM of CSM patients was significantly smaller than asymptomatic subjects. CONCLUSION: Age-related and degenerative changes in the cervical spine, alignment, and ROM in each decade of life were established between CSM patients and asymptomatic subjects.

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