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The prognosis of surgery for cervical compression myelopathy. An analysis of the factors involved

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We have studied the morphometry of the spinal cord in 50 patients with cervical compression myelopathy. Computed tomographic myelography (CTM) showed that the transverse area of the cord at the site of maximum compression correlated significantly with the results of surgery. In most patients with less than 30 mm2 of spinal cord area, the results were poor; the cord was unable to survive. Several factors, such as chronicity of disease, age at surgery and multiplicity of involvement are said to influence the results of surgery, but the transverse area of the cord at the level of maximum compression provides the most reliable and comprehensive parameter for their prediction.

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