Nagashima, Hideki MD *; Morio, Yasuo MD +; Yamashita, Hideki MD *; Yamane, Koji MD *; Teshima, Ryota MD *
Treatment of cervical myelopathy in elderly patients is controversial. We retrospectively studied 113 patients who had decompression surgery from 1990-2001 to clarify how pre-operative conditions, duration of symptoms, involved levels, surgical outcomes, and complications differ between younger and elderly patients. We also asked whether elderly patients would likely have reasonable outcomes of surgery. The patients were divided into five age groups: Group 1, 36-45 years (12 patients); Group 2, 46-55 years (22 patients); Group 3, 56-65 years (31 patients); Group 4, 66-75 years (32 patients); and Group 5, 76-85 years (16 patients). The duration of symptoms was similar among the five groups. The involved level was more cephalic in the older groups, and the most frequently involved level in patients older than 75 years was C3-C4. Neurologic symptoms were more severe preoperatively and postoperatively in older patients. The recovery ratio also was lower in older patients; however, in Group 5 it was 36.9%, which indicated that patients older than 75 years could regain approximately 40% of their function postoperatively. Decompression surgery can be a reasonable treatment option for cervical myelopathy, even in elderly patients.
Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research. 444:140-145, March 2006.<(i>